NAPSNet Daily Report 19 June, 2003

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 19 June, 2003", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 19, 2003, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-19-june-2003/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Underground Economy
2. US-DPRK Relations
3. US on UN Involvement
4. ROK on UN Mediation
5. ROK-DPRK Relations
6. ROK Political Scandal
7. PRC on Multilateral Talks
8. PRC Ferry Accident
9. Sino-Indian Relations
10. Taiwan Military Defense
11. Japanese Whaling
12. Russian Domestic Politics
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK Against 5 Way Talks
2. Inter Korean Separated Family Reunion
3. DPRK-US Hostility in ARF
III. Japan 1. Japan Military Emergency Legislation
2. Japan’s Role in Iraq Reconstruction
3. Japan Crisis Management Strategy
4. Japan Missile Defense
5. Japanese Logistic Support for US
6. Japan-ROK Citizen’s Group on Japanese Colonial Rule
7. US Bases in Japan Relocation
8. US Bases in Okinawa
9. Japan Anti-War Schoolboy Arrest
10. Japan Nuclear Reactor Restart

I. United States

1. DPRK Underground Economy

The Associated Press (Kenji Hall, “SHADOW MARKET ECONOMY THRIVES IN N. KOREA,” Seoul, 06/19/03) reported that for years, the DPRK has let small-scale trading posts, known as “farmers’ markets,” operate as a shadow economy alongside the state-run distribution system in one of the world’s most tightly controlled economies. Although officially banned, the markets have flourished as ordinary citizens of the DPRK adapt to the breakdown of central planning and the state rations that have been the cornerstone of the state’s policy since the 1950s. Faced with a dysfunctional economy and widespread food shortages, the government appears to be relaxing restrictions on the markets. “People with access to land, farming families, are now allowed to have kitchen gardens and thus more small markets have sprung up,” said Kathi Zellweger, the director of aid to the DPRK for the charity Caritas. Farmers and other producers have even begun to set up roadside stalls, and bartering in public is common – both illegal until recently, she said. With the DPRK’s main sources of hard currency in danger of running dry and its isolation growing, experts say the state needs the farmers’ markets more than ever to keep goods and money circulating. “I think it’s irreversible change,” said Scott Snyder of the Asia Foundation office in Seoul. “But does it add up to the type of reform that would make North Korea a viable and competitive system? The verdict is still out.” “That’s a great leap forward,” said Gerald Bourke, a spokesman for the WFP’s aid project in the DPRK. The WFP has grown to five local offices and a staff of 40 who can visit areas of the country in their own cars, though they can’t enter the markets. Despite their surge, the farmers’ markets are still a minuscule part of the DPRK’s economy. Fewer than 7 million, or about one-third of the population, living in agricultural areas can buy at the markets. The Bank of Korea estimates that private sector trade made up only 3.6 percent of the DPRK’s economy in 2000. Marcus Noland, an economist at the New York-based Institute for International Economics, said the DPRK’s anti-capitalist track record suggests it may actually be trying to rein in the markets. Previously, farmers sold their goods to the markets because higher prices there meant they could reap bigger profits than if they took them to state distribution centers. By raising official prices, the government may want farmers to channel crops back through the public system, Noland told the US Senate in testimony earlier this month. But experts say the DPRK’s fate may be beyond its control. “Even North Korea can’t resist the trend of globalization and has no choice but to tap into the forces that run the global market,” Asia Foundation’s Synder said.

2. US-DPRK Relations

The Associated Press (George Gedda, “POWELL CONFERS WITH N. KOREAN DIPLOMAT,” Phnom Penh, 06/19/03) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell conferred with a DPRK diplomat Wednesday about the nuclear standoff on the Korean Peninsula after asserting that the help of Southeast Asian nations in achieving a solution is essential. It was a chance encounter that brought Powell together with DPRK Ambassador-at-Large Ho Jong after a luncheon for representatives of more than 20 Asia/Pacific countries, a senior State Department official said. They talked for about three minutes, with Powell restating his case that broad participation in a negotiation is the best way to deal with the developing nuclear crisis on the peninsula, said the US official, who spoke on condition he not be identified. The official did not describe Ho’s response. Ho used his speech to the gathering to renew his appeal for direct US-DPRK talks, the official said.

3. US on UN Involvement

The Associated Press (Edith M. Lederer, “U.S. LAUNCHES NEW EFFORT ON NORTH KOREA,” 06/19/03) reported that the US said Wednesday it launched a new effort to persuade the U.N. Security Council to declare that the DPRK isn’t complying with its obligations to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. On April 9, the council refused to act on a US request to condemn the DPRK for pulling out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty because of strong opposition from the PRC and Russia, which have close ties to the DPRK. U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte disclosed the new push for U.N. action on the day that the DPRK said it will step up efforts to strengthen its “nuclear deterrent” in response to US pressure, and discarded American calls for multilateral talks on the nuclear dispute. “We’re reviving the idea of a presidential statement on North Korea, and we’re exploring that with other delegations at this time,” Negroponte said. A presidential statement, agreed on by all 15 Security Council members, becomes an official part of its record. But unlike a council resolution, it is not legally binding. The DPRK has warned that any Security Council action would undermine peace efforts, and it has reiterated several times that it would regard U.N. sanctions as a declaration of war. Negroponte said the US wants the council to approve a statement that would declare the DPRK isn’t complying with its nonproliferation obligations. The declaration would also call on the DPRK to “place its facilities under safeguard.” The aim, he said, is to urge the DPRK “to rejoin the international community on this question.” Asked about prospects for a presidential statement now, the PRC’s U.N. Ambassador Wang Yingfan questioned whether the timing was right “because efforts are being made for another round of talks.” “We should have continued discussions on this issue – outside the Security Council. That’s the wish now,” he told The Associated Press.

4. ROK on UN Mediation

Reuters (“S.KOREA: TOO EARLY FOR U.N. DEBATE ON NORTH,” Seoul, 06/19/03) reported that the ROK said on Thursday it was too early to push the U.N. Security Council to take up the DPRK’s nuclear program again, arguing that efforts to achieve multilateral talks should be given time. US ambassador at the United Nations John Negroponte said on Wednesday his staff was beginning private consultations with key Security Council members to try to push the Council to call on the DPRK to accept the return of U.N. nuclear inspectors. The ROK’s Foreign Ministry said it recognized the need for U.N. debate on the eight-month-old crisis over the DPRK’s nuclear program but said the time was not ripe. “In view of the fact that efforts to get multilateral talks under way are proceeding, our position is that it is not the desirable time to discuss a schedule for U.N. Security Council debate,” a ministry statement said. The Security Council, Negroponte said, should call on “North Korea to rejoin the international community in this area, place its facilities under safeguards, and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with its obligations under the non-proliferation treaty.”

5. ROK-DPRK Relations

Reuters (“DIPLOMATIC HANDSHAKES FAIL TO MASK ASIA DIFFERENCES,” Phnom Penh, 06/19/03) reported that the sight of ROK Foreign Minister Yoon Young-gwan shaking hands with a DPRK ambassador was captured by dozens of photographers, but the handshake that mattered took place off stage. The picture the photographers missed was when Secretary of State Colin Powell had the rare opportunity to bump into a mid-level DPRK official, shook hands and called in person for multilateral talks to end the DPRK’s suspected nuclear weapons program. The encounter took just three minutes. DPRK ambassador-at-large Ho Jong said: “Hello.” But Powell, unable to meet his DPRK counterpart who had snubbed the Asia-Pacific security meeting in the Cambodian capital because he was “too busy,” had more to say. “They bumped into each other just as lunch was breaking up … shook hands, exchanged a few words,” a senior State Department official told reporters. “The secretary said basically what he said in the meeting, (that) we want multilateral discussions.”

6. ROK Political Scandal

The Associated Press (Sang-hun Choe, “EX-AIDE OF S. KOREA EX-PRESIDENT ARRESTED,” Seoul, 06/18/03) reported that former President Kim Dae-jung’s closest aide was arrested Wednesday by an independent counsel probing allegations that Kim “bought” his historic 2000 summit with communist DPRK. Park Ji-won, Kim’s former chief of staff and the country’s culture and tourism minister, was taken to a jail outside Seoul late Wednesday after a ROK court issued an arrest warrant. The investigation focuses on $500 million that the ROK’s Hyundai conglomerate sent to the DPRK shortly before the June 2000 summit. Opposition leaders accused Kim’s administration of arranging some of the money to bribe the DPRK to agree to the summit. Hyundai says it gave the money to the DPRK to secure business rights there covering tourism, railways and an industrial park. Park was accused of taking $12.5 million in bribes from Chung Mong-hun, a top Hyundai executive, and persuading a government-controlled bank to give loans to the group. If convicted, Park could face up to seven years in prison. He denied bribery. “I have no reason to receive such money from Hyundai,” Park told the ROK’s all-news channel YTN. Park played a key role in arranging the summit, Kim’s crowning achievement that helped him win the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize. Kim left office in February after a five-year tenure. The former president has said his government approved Hyundai’s money transfers to the DPRK – despite “legal problems” – because they facilitated peace on the peninsula. ROK law forbids transfers of cash to the DPRK without proper government approval. It remains unclear whether Kim’s aides bypassed formal government procedures to approve the money transfers. No charges have been filed against Kim. He maintains that the government’s decision on Hyundai’s cash transfers should not be subject to judicial review.

7. PRC on Multilateral Talks

Reuters (Jane McCartney, “CHINA FOREIGN MINISTER SEES BEIJING TALKS ON N.KOREA,” Phnom Penh, 06/19/03) reported that the Beijing format for talks on the DPRK nuclear issue is the only way to a peaceful solution, PRC Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said on Thursday, hinting that a US offer of diplomatic relations might help. In a rare and wide-ranging interview, Li stressed the importance of the United Nations as the only body able to deal with international issues and took a veiled dig at the US for ignoring U.N. processes. The talks among the PRC, the US and the DPRK that began with a round of meetings in April in Beijing were the only way to resolve the DPRK nuclear issue, said Li who took up his post in March. “The DPRK Korean issue can only be resolved by peaceful means,” Li told Reuters. “The Beijing talks are the only way.” The PRC, which brokered the talks in April, was of the view that the DPRK was diplomatically isolated, Li said on the sidelines of the annual security meeting of the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Regional Forum in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. “This must be resolved,” he said, in an apparent hint to the US that an offer of diplomatic relations could be a way to help break the deadlock. “There cannot be nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula,” Li said. The reclusive communist nation found its nuclear program topping the agenda of the forum on Thursday when other nations in the 23-member grouping urged an end to the nuclear crisis. Li has said he expects many difficulties ahead in the talks.

8. PRC Ferry Accident

Reuters (“COLLISION SINKS FERRY WITH DOZENS ABOARD,” Beijing, 06/19/03) reported that a PRC passenger ferry carrying about 35 people sank on Thursday after colliding with another boat in heavy fog on the Yangtze River, state media and officials said. At least three bodies were recovered and 12 survivors were pulled from the river near the western city of Chongqing. “At that time, there were about 35 passengers on the ferry,” state-run China Central Television said. The fate of the remaining passengers and crew was not known. An official of the Yangtze River Channel Bureau in Chongqing, who would only give his surname as Cui, said fog was too thick for rescue boats to head for the site of the breakfast-time collision. “About 12 people were saved by fishing boats,” he said. “We are doing rescue work now. But the ferry was washed away and we haven’t found it yet.” The passenger boat, owned by the Chongqing Three Gorges Shipping Co, could carry 300 people, a company official said. “I don’t think it was overloaded,” he said by telephone from Chongqing. The official Xinhua news agency said three bodies had been recovered. Most of the ferry passengers were students and farmers, it said. Police detained the crew of the freighter, the other vessel involved in the collision, Xinhua said, and the incident was under investigation.

9. Sino-Indian Relations

Reuters (Myra MacDonald and John Ruwitch “INDIA, CHINA TO HOLD TALKS, WARY OF U.S. POWER,” New Dehli, Beijing, 06/19/03) reported that Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee begins a visit to Beijing on Sunday for talks seen as giving India and the PRC an opportunity to assert their independence from growing American power. Analysts see as unlikely any major agreements during Vajpayee’s talks with PRC President Hu Jintao, in the first visit by an Indian prime minister to PRC in a decade. But they say the world’s two most populous countries, which fought a savage border war in 1962, have a mutual interest in improving ties to keep U.S. global dominance in check. India, which leaned toward Russia during the Cold War, has transformed its relationship with the US in recent years but is keen to ensure this does not limit its room for maneuver. “India had wanted not to be seen entirely going the American way so they want their lines open to Russia and China as well. So the summit is an equalizer in that sense,” said Indian defense analyst Ashok Mehta. The PRC in turn is wary of the US’ ties with India. “I think the quickly improved relationship between New Delhi and Washington really upsets China,” said Zhu Feng, director of the International Security Program at Peking University. “China would like to do something politically to break up the U.S.-led re-conceptualization of the balance of power in the region. We would not like to be victimized by the restructuring of power relationships in Asia,” he said. Top of the agenda is to build trade links to bolster the economic clout of the two countries, which between them represent more than a third of the world’s population. But analysts see little chance of an agreement on an ongoing border dispute. India and the PRC have yet to agree on a final demarcation of their 3,500-km (2,173-mile) border. “I don’t think there is going to be any breakthrough. The issues that India wants movement on is the border dispute and on that the PRC are working to their own timetable and at their own pace,” said India’s Mehta.

10. Taiwan Military Defense

Agence France-Presse, (“TAIWAN MAY BE FORCED TO DEVELOP BALLISTIC MISSILES,” Taipei, 06/19/03) reported that a potential Sino-US agreement on a reduction of arms sales to Taiwan might prompt the island to accelerate the development of its own offensive missile systems, the Jane’s Missiles and Rockets reported. Reports from the US indicate that the White House is now considering the PRC’s proposal for freezing additional deployments of tactical ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan in exchange for a reduction in US arms sales to the island, the magazine said. “Although it is a possibility, I would take this with a grain of salt. We would fight it,” stated another US government source. Pro-Taiwan supporters in the US government, referred to as the ‘Blue Team,’ would clearly be opposed to the PRC’s proposal. The RPC has 100 Dong Feng-11 (M-11) and 300 Dong Feng-15 (M-9) tactical ballistic missiles deployed within range of Taiwan, which Beijing still considers a renegade province despite the fact that it has been governed separately since a civil war in 1949, it said. Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Eugene Chien has rejected the swap plan outright, arguing that it was “unreasonable and unfair.” The magazine warned that “if Washington and Beijing broker a deal, it may encourage Taiwan to continue with plans to develop a short-range ballistic missile — based on the Tien Kung (Sky Bow) surface-to-air missile — and a cruise missile (HF-2E) based on the Hsiung Feng (Brave Wind) anti-ship missile.” The US and Taiwan have only recently been able to move forward with a plan to deploy a missile defense system that would include an early-warning radar (EWR) and PAC-3 missiles. Taiwan has formally presented a letter of request to the US for the purchase of three Lockheed Martin PAC-3 units and for the upgrade of three Raytheon PAC-2 Plus units to PAC-3 standards. A US government source confirmed that “Taiwan is moving forward on missile defense, including PAC-3 and EWR.” Taiwan has deployed three batteries of PAC-2 Plus anti-missile weaponry to defend the populous Greater Taipei area.

11. Japanese Whaling

The Associated Press (Stephen Graham, “JAPAN’S BID TO RESUME WHALING BLOCKED,” Berlin, 06/19/03) reported that anti-whaling nations blocked Japanese requests Wednesday to resume commercial whaling, calling for more research into stocks before any easing of a 17-year international ban. A global whaling conference voted 27-17 and 26-19 to defeat two Japanese motions – one seeking permission to take from the North Pacific 150 Bryde’s whales a year between 2004 and 2008, and another for 150 minke whales starting this year. “The science is not complete yet,” said US delegate Michael Tillman, whose country lined up with nations including Britain, Australia and Korea to defeat the proposal. The votes at the International Whaling Commission’s annual meeting were a fresh rejection for pro-whaling forces such as Japan, Norway and several Caribbean nations after the majority voted Monday to strengthen whale conservation efforts. But Iceland defended its tentative plan to kill whales for scientific research, as it is entitled to do under IWC rules – a path already taken by Japan. Pro-whaling countries say conservationist concerns have obscured the commission’s purpose to work out quotas for whaling that would allow sustainable hunting. Japan argued that going ahead next year would provide a working example for a system to monitor catches that could end the squabbling. “We’re seriously concerned because the discussions seem to be limitless,” Japanese delegate Masayuki Komatsu said. “International observers would be welcome.” Backed by Norway and Iceland, Japan said it also needed to resume whale hunting to help traditional fishing communities. The defeat came during a bad-tempered third conference day dominated by calls for further research into whale populations before lifting the 1986 moratorium. Anti-whaling countries argue that too little is known about whale stocks, pointing out that they are also threatened by accidental capture by fishing vessels. “It’s very urgent to take action in this field,” said Peter Bradhering, head of the German delegation. “It’s a global challenge.” Japanese kill hundreds of whales annually under an exemption for limited “research” hunts. The government says the hunts help gauge the impact of whale herds on fisheries stocks and provide data on their migration patterns and population trends. Critics call the program commercial whaling in disguise because the meat is sold later to wholesalers and ends up in Japanese restaurants.

12. Russian Domestic Politics

The Associated Press (Sarah Karush, “NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE HAD NO HOPE IN MOSCOW,” Moscow, 06/19/03) reported that the lower house of parliament was debating a no-confidence motion in a widely unpopular government. But long before Wednesday’s vote, it was clear that Russia’s State Duma would not approve the motion telling President Vladimir Putin to dismiss his Cabinet. Few Russian lawmakers have the nerve to tell the president anything. Occupying a huge gray edifice opposite Red Square, the Duma is the center of public politics and Russia’s young democracy. Yet despite a diverse makeup and potentially vast powers, the Duma often functions like an arm of the presidential administration. The easy failure of the no-confidence vote was a vivid example. The sponsors of the no-confidence motion, the Communists and the liberal Yabloko party, accused the government of failing to improve the pace of economic development, provide for the needs of the army, protect citizens from crime, and reform the bureaucracy. Those gripes are shared by much of the population. But with parliamentary elections looming in December, Putin apparently did not give the go-ahead for a no-confidence vote, and the pro-Kremlin majority immediately vowed to reject the motion. That’s a stark contrast to the previous Duma, which was controlled by the Communists and fought bitterly against then-President Boris Yeltsin, blocking vital legislation. The current, centrist-dominated Duma was elected in December 1999, just 12 days before Yeltsin resigned, putting Putin in charge as acting president. The 450-member chamber quickly established itself as Putin’s loyal servant, putting its stamp of approval on key reforms he wanted to pass. But unlike Putin, whose approval ratings hover around 70 percent, the Cabinet, which is appointed by the president, is widely distrusted. A May poll by the All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion, or VTsIOM, found that only 34 percent of Russians approve of Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and 54 percent disapprove of him. Only 30 percent of respondents said they approve of the Cabinet as a whole, while 64 percent disapprove of it. The poll of 1,600 Russians had a margin of error of 3.4 percent. According to the Russian Constitution, if the Duma votes no confidence twice in three months and the president does not agree to dismiss the Cabinet, he can dissolve the Duma and call new elections. Today’s relationship between the executive and legislative branches makes for more productive government and is essential for Putin to continue his economic and political restructuring. But it’s a major setback for the country’s young democracy, critics say. “The political institutions traditionally considered democratic, representative and law-based are less influential than the executive branch, the police, the military and the security agencies,” said sociologist Leonid Sedov of VTsIOM. Only 11 percent of Russians say they completely trust the Duma, according to VTsIOM. Some 43 percent say they don’t completely trust the chamber, while 31 percent don’t trust it at all. What dismays critics is that Russian citizens so easily submit. “Masses of Russian citizens don’t understand why we need checks and balances, multiple parties, a strong parliament,” said Vladimir Ryzhkov, a veteran of all three post-Soviet Dumas. “I tell (my constituents) they are their own problem.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Against 5 Way Talks

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, “NORTH DOWNBEAT ABOUT 5 WAY TALKS,” Seoul, 06/19/03) reported that in a report carried by DPRK’s central news agency Wednesday, DPRK’s Foreign Ministry said it had no hopes that the multilateral talks proposed by US would do any good. It also said it would strengthen its nuclear deterrence strategy, calling it a legal and rightful defensive action to counter US’s “strategy of crushing to death.” Incidentally, the term used in the statement for “crushing to death” is the same used by the ROK demonstrators at their candlelight rallies to describe the road accident last year in which a US military vehicle hit and killed two middle-school girls. The report said that the multilateral talks were not designed to solve the nuclear issue peacefully, but to camouflage and hide the pressure being applied against DPRK. DPRK wanted to clearly announce that it had the right to retaliate immediately to any physical or hostile actions, which would be considered declarations of war and a scrapping of the armistice agreement, the article said. The ministry also objected to the idea that DPRK would smuggle nuclear material or missiles to terrorist groups, calling it a “childish mockery” to its anti-terrorism policies. It accused US of using propaganda to try to rationalize its attempt to bring about regime change. The statement also reiterated that DPRK had insisted last week that it would have to develop a nuclear deterrence if US continued to threaten it, because nukes were more economical than maintaining conventional forces.

2. Inter Korean Separated Family Reunion

Joongang Ilbo (“NEXT FAMILY REUNION TO USE SEAGOING ROUTE,” Seoul, 06/19/03) reported that ROK families will travel by boat to the DPRK’s Mount Geumgang resort for a reunion with their DPRK relatives from whom they have been separated, the two Koreas agreed Wednesday. The reunion will be held from June 27 to July 2. Because most of the ROK travelers are elderly, the ROK initially proposed that they travel by the east coast cross-border road. But the DPRK cited ongoing construction on the route and suggested the use of the seaway. Suh Young-hoon, ROK’s Red Cross chairman, will lead the team from the ROK. Since the DPRK families will be led by Jang Jae-on, DPRK’s Red Cross chairman, a substantial discussion will take place on issues related to the separated families, such as building a permanent meeting place, a ROK Red Cross official said.

3. DPRK-US Hostility in ARF

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Young-sae, “AIDE SAYS PYEONGYANG WANTS TO TALK TO US FIRST,” Phnom Penh, 06/19/03) reported that DPRK and US remained poles apart on how to begin resolving the nuclear standoff, with representatives from the two countries Wednesday persisting in their stances at a regional security forum here. The DPRK delegate to the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Regional Forum, Ambassador-at-large Ho Jong, said Wednesday that DPRK is “not opposed to multilateral dialogue on its nuclear program.” But it wants to “sit down first with the United States to confirm the real U.S. intentions.” Mr. Ho’s remarks were relayed by ROK’s assistant foreign minister, Lee Sun-jin. Earlier in the meeting, US Secretary of State Colin Powell, in a 45-minute statement, reiterated US intention to engage the DPRK unless it gives up its nuclear program, Mr. Lee said. There was no need for bilateral dialogue with the DPRK, Mr. Powell said, and multilateral dialogue to follow up on the April Beijing talks should resume soon. Mr. Ho said he appreciated Mr. Powell’s assurance about the absence of any intention by US to attack DPRK. “But there are wills in Washington that are different from Mr. Powell’s,” he added, and bilateral talks should come first to confirm the US government’s intention not to make “a nuclear strike” on the DPRK. Mr. Ho was representing the DPRK in the absence of Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun. The Cambodian foreign minister, Hor Namhong, who chaired the meeting, deplored the absence, saying Mr. Paek’s participation could have enhanced the dialogue and contributed to the peaceful settlement of the Korean issue. The 23 countries of the ASEAN Regional Forum are expected to adopt a statement calling for a peaceful resolution of the DPRK nuclear issue, ROK officials said.

III. Japan

1. Japan Military Emergency Legislation

The Japan Times (Nao Shimoyachi, “WAR VETERAN OTA QUESTIONS NEW LAW,” 06/08/03) reported that after 90 percent of the Japanese Diet endorsed the government’s war contingency laws, former Okinawa Gov. Masahide Ota said the politicians and government officials who pushed the legislation do not understand the “horror and reality of war.” “People cannot be protected in times of war,” said Ota, who had firsthand experience in the ground battle on Okinawa, a major battle toward the end of World War II. Now an Upper House member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Ota, 76, was drafted to fight in Okinawa in 1945. An estimated 100,000 civilians died in the fighting, along with the same number of Japanese soldiers and about 12,500 American servicemen. “There was no food or water for them,” he said. “The women would be raped and killed. Knowing they would die anyway, they chose to end their lives by blowing themselves up.” Like Okinawans once did, Japanese may find their country offers little escape from battle. Ota is also skeptical of the suggestion that rights and belongings will be protected during a war. “Anyone who knows about war knows it is about winning and that no laws will be followed,” Ota said. “They say people will be compensated for the trees cut down by the Self-Defense Forces in their gardens, but how is that possible? They won’t be moving around the battleground carrying registry books.” Ota said that those who pushed or voted for the legislation should have done so only after inserting a provision that states “the people who drew up this law will be the first to go to the battlefield.” “The way the government is fanning public opinion and the way the media reported (deliberations) looks very similar to how this nation was plunged into (the last) war,” Ota warned. “I am disappointed by this nation’s postwar democracy, which is shallow and superficial. I am stunned rather than angry.”

2. Japan’s Role in Iraq Reconstruction

The Japan Times (“BILL TO SEND SDF TO IRAQ WINS ARMITAGE’S PRAISE,” 06/11/03) reported that visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage expressed pleasure on June 10 with a bill that would pave the way for the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to be sent to Iraq to assist in reconstruction work. He also expressed confidence that weapons of mass destruction would be located in Iraq. During a meeting with the secretary generals of the three ruling parties, Armitage responded to queries regarding security and other elements of the current situation in Iraq, which are seen as issues that are likely to have a major impact on Diet deliberations on the SDF dispatch legislation. According to Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Taku Yamasaki, Armitage admitted the security situation is still unstable in central Iraq, which includes Baghdad, and southern areas, where the Shiite and Sunni Muslims are in confrontation. Armitage was quoted as saying that in general, the situation in Iraq was similar to that in Cambodia, where the SDF served from September 1992 as part of a UN-led peacekeeping operation. Stability is seen as a key element in considering any SDF mission to Iraq, as the proposed law stipulates that the SDF would operate only in “noncombat zones.”

The Japan Times (Junko Takahashi, “IRAQ BILL TO LET SDF TRANSPORT WEAPONS,” 06/12/03) reported that a government draft of the bill to provide support for the reconstruction of Iraq does not rule out the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) transporting weapons or ammunition after they are dispatched, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said on June 11. According to the draft, the SDF would “not supply” weapons and ammunition to US-led troops deployed in Iraq or supply fuel for aircraft preparing for combat operations. Fukuda said it may prove difficult to pick out weapons and ammunition from all the other materials to be transported by the SDF for the US-led forces in Iraq. But Fukuda added that the government will weigh the debate within the ruling parties carefully, suggesting the clause could still be revised. Transporting weapons and ammunition was a point of debate when the Diet deliberated the 2001 antiterrorism law, which enabled the SDF to support US-led operations in Afghanistan. The government initially planned to include those tasks in the terms of the SDF’s mission, but the ruling coalition decided to drop the proposal in the face of criticism from opposition parties.

3. Japan Crisis Management Strategy

The Japan Times (“SDF OFFICERS TAKE LOCAL GOVERNMENT POSITIONS,” 06/06/03) reported that the Japanese Defense Agency has helped place at least 22 former and current Self-Defense Forces (SDF) officers in local government positions in a bid to bolster civilian crisis management in the event of an attack on Japan. Of the 22 officials, 20 are from the Ground Self-Defense Force, and one each from the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Air Self-Defense Force, the agency and governments said. Many of the local governments that employ SDF staff had asked the agency to supply them, they said. “The knowledge of military affairs of SDF personnel is helpful for local governments,” a senior agency official said, indicating more service members may be posted at prefectural and municipal government offices. Some of the officials, at 17 prefectures and cities, are already working on war-contingency guidelines for civilian evacuations, although most local governments have limited the officials’ roles in disaster prevention. Active SDF personnel currently posted at government offices include a GSDF lieutenant colonel who has been working as a section chief of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Disaster Prevention Division since April, and a GSDF captain who has been serving as a deputy chief of Tottori Prefecture’s Disaster and Crisis Management Section since August 2001. The captain is leading Tottori’s efforts to compile evacuation guidelines, including an attack scenario. The metro government also plans to employ a GSDF captain in July to reinforce its preparations to set up a war-crisis management system. But other local governments have taken a less active approach in utilizing SDF members. The city of Sendai said it expects its SDF personnel to act as a liaison with the Defense Agency in times of disaster, while Gifu Prefecture said its employment of SDF personnel is not aimed at dealing with war contingencies.

4. Japan Missile Defense

The Asahi Shimbun (“FEAR ALTERS MISSILE DEFENSE PLAN,” 06/06/03) reported that the Japanese Defense Agency officials are now considering including in the budget proposal for next fiscal year a request for an Aegis destroyer-based Standard Missile 3 (SM3) system developed by the US in addition to the surface-to-air guided Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC3) system now under consideration, sources said. Japan is already involved in a joint technology research project with the US to develop a missile defense system. The decision to purchase a system already produced by the US means money spent on joint research would essentially be wasted. Since the start of the project in 1999, 13.7 billion yen has been set aside through fiscal 2002. The DPRK’s recent revelations about its nuclear capability and general belligerence have forced the Defense Agency to rethink its initial timetable. The joint missile defense research project was not expected to produce any tangible results for a number of years at best. Additionally, the US has been pushing its East Asia allies hard to establish missile defense systems in concert with the US. US President George W. Bush announced in December that the PAC3 missile systems would be deployed in 2004 and that the SM3 system would be deployed in 2005. However, if Japan is to deploy a missile defense system, constitutional issues will need to be addressed. Questions would be raised about the exercise of the right to collective self-defense if the missile defense system was used to shoot down missiles headed for an ally nation.

5. Japanese Logistic Support for US

The Asahi Shimbun (“AS ROLE SHRINKS FOR MSDF, DEBATE RAGES OVER MISSION,” 06/04/03) reported that debate is heating up within the Japanese government and ruling coalition over an expensive “floating gas station” desperate for customers. The “gas station” consists of a supply ship escorted by two destroyers in the Indian Ocean and represents Japan’s main contribution in the US-led war against terrorism. Some say it’s time to end the anti-terror mission of the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF). With the Taliban ousted from power in Afghanistan and al-Qaida members on the run, there are fewer US Navy ships operating in the area that need fuel from the MSDF ships. But certain elements of the government and ruling coalition are vehement about extending the anti-terrorism special measures law, which will expire in November, and pleasing the US. They say Japan should refrain from withdrawing its contribution to the war on terrorism while other nations continue with their support efforts. “We have to continue efforts to round up and capture the remaining elements of the terrorist groups who may attempt to flee,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda told the Lower House Security Committee on May 16. Within the ruling coalition, LDP Secretary-General Taku Yamasaki is the most aggressive about passing a bill during the current Diet session to extend the effectiveness of the special measures law. But his efforts may have more to do with domestic politics than foreign relations. If the extension of the law is not passed before November, the MSDF ships would have to be called back from the Indian Ocean. To avoid that situation, extra efforts and dealings must be made to pass legislation to extend the law. That, in turn, could limit the options for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in deciding when to dissolve the Lower House and call a snap election.

6. Japan-ROK Citizen’s Group on Japanese Colonial Rule

The Japan Times (“GRASSROOTS GROUPS DEMAND WAR APOLOGY,” 06/06/03) reported that an array of 58 Japanese and South Korean citizens’ groups submitted a written request to both governments to take measures that will result in Japan apologizing to and compensating victims of Japan’s militarism before and during World War II. The groups urged ROK President Roh Moo Hyun not to tolerate Japan refusing to properly address these issues, which have often been taken up by the UN Commission on Human Rights, group representatives said. Japan has refused to pay compensation or make apologies to such victims on the grounds that all war-related issues were resolved in the Japan-ROK normalization treaty of 1965. “Japan cannot have a real sense of pride as long as it hides the ugly past. An apology and compensation are the shortest way to peace and friendship,” said Koken Tsuchiya, a former head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, who now leads a lawyers’ group calling for war compensation legislation.

7. US Bases in Japan Relocation

Mainichi Daily News (“U.S. TO CLOSE YOKOHAMA POST, RELOCATE TO NORTHERN JAPAN,” 06/07/03) reported that the US Navy is set to relocate the command post of one of the Pacific Fleet reconnaissance aircraft divisions out of Yokohama to Misawa base in Aomori Prefecture, and return the land to its owners, Japanese and US government sources said. The Kamiseya communications site in Yokohama, where the command post is situated, controls P3C patrol aircraft and EP3 reconnaissance aircraft at Navy bases in Misawa, Kadena in Okinawa Prefecture and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. After the command post is relocated to Misawa, the rank of its commander is to be raised from the current colonel level to a rear admiral level, effectively strengthening its functions. At the request of the US forces, the Japanese government has begun works to extend the runway at Misawa base to 3,000 meters. US military sources say its higher reconnaissance command post currently based in Hawaii may be shifted to Misawa. Therefore, the relocation of the command post from Yokohama to Misawa will certainly increase the role that US forces in Japan will play in the US reconnaissance activities and may lead to restructuring of the aircraft division of the US Pacific Fleet, the sources said.

8. US Bases in Okinawa

Kyodo (“POLICE QUESTION U.S. MARINE OVER OKINAWA RAPE,” Naha, 06/13/03) reported that Okinawa police said on June 12 they are questioning a US Marine on suspicion of raping a local woman in May. The 21-year-old lance corporal is being questioned on a voluntary basis about the alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman in the town of Kin. Police said that the US serviceman has confessed to the rape, and that they plan to ask a court to issue an arrest warrant for him. Lt. Gen. Wallace Gregson, the top commander of the US forces in Okinawa, said in a public announcement issued by the US Marine Corps: “The type of behavior alleged is completely unacceptable. We will assist the local authorities as much as possible. We sincerely regret the anxiety this incident has caused the local community.” “US forces have worked closely with local law enforcement authorities since the allegations were first made. The service member in question has cooperated with US and Japanese officials, and is currently in US custody.”

9. Japan Anti-War Schoolboy Arrest

Mainichi Daily News (“SCHOOLBOY HACKS 140 INTERNET SITES TO PROTEST WAR,” 06/10/03) reported that a 15-year-old boy is facing charges for hacking into 140 internet sites in 23 countries to protest against the US-led war in Iraq, a Japanese police said. The first-year high school student from Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, has admitted to the allegations. “I did it to make the United States take a look at itself and realize what they have done in their selfish war,” he reportedly told police. However, he also acknowledged that he originally started doing it for kicks. “It was like a game. I wanted to show my abilities to hackers around the world.” Police sent documents to prosecutors accusing the youth of breaking laws prohibiting illegal accesses.

10. Japan Nuclear Reactor Restart

Kyodo (“MAYORS OK RESTARTING OF TEPCO REACTOR,” Niigata, 06/12/03) reported that the mayors of two Niigata Prefecture municipalities hosting a nuclear power plant conveyed their approval to Niigata Governor Ikuo Hirayama to restart a reactor now that it has undergone repairs. Kashiwazaki Mayor Masazumi Saikawa and Kariwa Mayor Hiroo Shinada visited the prefectural office to communicate their decisions. Hirayama is expected to decide whether the prefecture will give the green light to restarting the No. 7 reactor of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant following discussions at a prefectural assembly committee meeting, sources said. Yoshihiko Sasaki, director general of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and TEPCO President Tsunehisa Katsumata are expected to attend the meeting to give unsworn testimony, according to the sources. METI recently said the reactor is safe. If the prefectural government approves, the No. 7 reactor will be the second of TEPCO’s 17 reactors to be restarted. TEPCO’s No. 6 reactor in the Niigata plant resumed operations in May.

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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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