NAPSNet Daily Report 20 August, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 20 August, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, August 20, 1999,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

I. United States

1. DPRK-Japanese Relations

Reuters (George Nishiyama, “N.KOREA SHOWS SOME SOFTNESS IN ITS HARD LINE,” Tokyo, 08/20/99) reported that Shizuo Wada, a former member of the Japanese Diet, said on Friday that the DPRK has changed its stance on the issue of Japanese allegedly abducted by DPRK agents. Wada said that during his recent visit to Pyongyang, the DPRK proposed a joint search for the missing Japanese. Wada said that although the word “abduction” was never used in the talks, he believed the “missing Japanese” referred in part to those believed to have been abducted by DPRK agents. Wada said that he will meet Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka next Monday to inform him of the proposal and ask Nonaka to advise the Japanese Red Cross. Masao Okonogi, a professor at Keio University, stated, “It’s a sign that they’re seeking talks.” Okonogi said that recent DPRK statements together with this proposal show that that the DPRK was now shifting its stance towards Japan to one of “courtship” from one of “bluff diplomacy.” Noriyuki Suzuki, director at Radiopress, which monitors DPRK broadcasts, argued that the DPRK is “trying to make it easier for Japan to come to the negotiating table.” He said that the DPRK was removing a key obstacle for talks with Japan by addressing the abduction issue, adding that it was now more likely that the DPRK would refrain from the test- firing of a Taepodong-2 missile.

2. DPRK Famine

The New York Times (Barbara Crossette, “NORTH KOREA APPEARS TO BE EMERGING FROM YEARS OF SEVERE FAMINE,” United Nations, 08/20/99) reported that the DPRK appears to be emerging from a prolonged severe famine with the help of international food aid. Catherine Bertini, executive director of the UN World Food Program, said Thursday, “The food assistance is essential. It is the only reason why there might be some stability now in the nutritional lives of many North Koreans.” She stated, “Two years ago we saw no food in the country at all…. There seemed to be a stable food situation now. That does not mean that it’s good.” She added, “The country does not grow enough to feed itself. The aid is absolutely critical.” Andrew Natsios, former vice president of the relief agency World Vision, said Wednesday that the DPRK famine had become “one of the great famines of the 20th century.” Natsios stated, “We now know that more than 10 percent of the population starved to death.” He added, “I hope and pray that this is the last of the great totalitarian famines whose roots lay in systemic dysfunction.” In his recent report for the US Institute of Peace, “The Politics of Famine in North Korea,” Natsios said that confidence in the DPRK government has been shaken. He said that the DPRK’s threats could be an attempt to mask or deflect attention from its weakness and discord. A recent study by the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health found that between 1995 and 1997 infant mortality rates rose, family size fell, and death rates across the board were at least seven times higher than those recorded by the DPRK’s 1993 census. DPRK defector Hwang Jong-yop said that a high-ranking DPRK agriculture official had told him that 500,000 people had starved to death in 1995, about 50,000 of them party cadres. He said that the government expected another 3 million deaths in the next two years if foreign aid was not sought. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 20.]

3. DPRK Human Rights

The Associated Press (“N KOREA TELLS UN IT WILL REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS PROGRESS,” Geneva, 08/20/99) reported that Jose Diaz, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said Friday that the DPRK announced its intention to submit a report on its implementation the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Diaz said that the DPRK announced the decision at a human rights subcommittee meeting in Geneva, but did not say when it would submit the report or the reasons behind its decision.

4. ROK Financial Crisis

The Associated Press (“S. KOREAN OFFICIALS ACQUITTED,” Seoul, 08/19/99) reported that the Seoul District Criminal Court on Friday acquitted former ROK Finance Minister Kang Kyong-shik and former chief presidential secretary Kim In-ho of charges that they failed to keep then-President Kim Young-sam properly informed about the Asian financial crisis. The court found them guilty of separate charges that they pressured state-controlled banks to extend millions of dollars in preferential loans to three troubled companies. They were given suspended sentences. Prosecutors said they would appeal the decision to a higher court.

5. Japanese Nuclear Policy

Nucleonics Week (Mark Hibbs, “JAPAN NONPROLIFERATION GROUP SETTING SIGHTS ON G-7 IN 2000,” Bonn, 08/19/99) reported that Japanese government and industry are setting up a working group to formulate nonproliferation policy recommendations for the Japanese government for next year’s Group-7 summit meeting. Government officials said that the decision to form the working group was made by Japan’s Science and Technology Agency (STA) about a year ago. Last week Japanese officials made known that the working group would be chaired by Mitsuru Kurosawa, an international law expert at the University of Osaka. The article noted that, in his comments on a recent Nautilus Institute paper written by Morton Halperin, now Director of Policy Planning at the US State Department, Kurosawa said that he “agreed” with Halperin’s conclusion that certain circumstances “might lead Japan to develop nuclear weapons.” According to officials at Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nobuo Ishizuka, general manager of the department of development policy promotion at the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, has been named secretary of the working group. Sources close to the secretariat said this week that the working group will convene in September, and that about a dozen members, representing organizations including STA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the University of Tokyo, and the Japan Nuclear Fuel Cycle Development Institute (JNC), have been appointed to the group. Sources involved said that the working group will discuss Japan’s role in the Non-Proliferation Treaty regime, the relationship between nuclear weapons states and non-nuclear weapons states, and the development of nonproliferating nuclear technologies and energy systems. The group may also hold a conference next year on nuclear security in Asia including invited speakers from India, Pakistan, the PRC, and the ROK.

6. Taiwan Missile Defense

Reuters (Benjamin Kang Lim, “CHINA SLAMS TAIWAN CALL FOR U.S. MISSILE SHIELD,” Beijing, 08/20/99) reported that the PRC Foreign Ministry in a statement on Friday denounced a call by Taiwan to be included in the proposed US Theater Missile Defense (TMD) system. The statement said that peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region would be threatened if the anti-missile umbrella covered Taiwan. It stated, “We demand that the United States scrupulously abide by the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques.” It added that the US should “stop selling weapons to Taiwan, especially explicitly promising not to provide TMD to Taiwan and its related technology, equipment and necessary systems.” It also said that the US should “recognize the severity and danger of [Taiwan President] Lee Teng- hui’s ‘two state theory.'”

US State Department Spokesman Jamie Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, 1999,” USIA Transcript, 08/19/99) said that whenever the subject of Taiwan comes to the fore, the PRC position has been to oppose arms sales to Taiwan. Rubin argued, “Taiwan’s security in the region depends on more than a balance of weapons systems.” He stated, “Among the items Taiwan has already purchased has been technology for Taiwan’s modified air defense system, which has anti-aircraft and anti-missile capabilities. The Taiwan authorities are assessing their own capability and needs for missile defense…. We have made no U.S. decisions here in the United States on deployment of theater missile defense systems, other than for the protection of American forces in the region. We do not preclude the possible sale of theater missile defense systems to Taiwan in the future. Our interest is in preserving peace and stability in the region. It is premature to make that decision about theater missile development now, when those systems are still under development and both we and others are studying this question.”

7. PRC-Taiwan Dispute

The Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “TAIWAN BLAMES CHINA FOR INSTABILITY,” Taipei, 08/20/99) reported that Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokesman Henry Chen on Friday, responding to comments on Thursday by PRC Ambassador to the US Li Zhaoxing, said that the PRC’s threat of force is the source of tensions in cross-Taiwan Straits relations. Chen stated, “The fact is, the Chinese communists don’t rule out using force to resolve the Taiwan Strait issue. They are the ones creating regional tensions.” Sheu Ke-sheng, deputy head of the Taiwan Cabinet’s Mainland Affairs Council, said that the PRC should “have a good read” of Taiwan’s official statements. Shu stated, “From them, you can see our friendly and sincere position of pushing forward the peaceful and stable development of relations.” Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui on Friday told a visiting Japanese lawmaker that positive development of relations with the PRC were conditional on the sides regarding each other as equals. Lee added, “I hope the sides can continue to strengthen exchange and dialogue and use peaceful means to resolve mutual issues.”

Reuters (“CHINA WARNS HK MEDIA AGAINST BACKING TAIWAN STANCE,” Hong Kong, 08/20/99) reported that Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post said on Friday that the PRC warned Hong Kong’s media against helping to promote any calls for Taiwan’s statehood or independence. The newspaper quoted PRC Vice Premier Qian Qichen as saying, “Under the one-China principle, one can’t promote such matters in Hong Kong.” Qian added that open support for the “two-states” policy was a violation of guidelines on Hong Kong-Taiwan relations. His comments follow recent remarks on a government-funded radio station by Cheng An Kuo, Taiwan’s top representative in Hong Kong, in support of Taiwan President Lee Teng Hui’s statements on PRC-Taiwan relations. A poll by the Ming Pao newspaper said on Friday that 46 percent of 543 respondents in Hong Kong believed that Qian’s comments would undermine freedom of speech in the territory, while thirty-three percent said it would not affect it.

8. PRC Threat to Taiwan

The Associated Press (“CHINA MISSILES ‘COULD HIT TAIWAN PRESIDENT’S DESK’-REPORT,” Beijing, 08/20/99) reported that the PRC’s Science Times said Friday that People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) troops along the southeast coast facing Taiwan are on a war footing and the chances of conflict erupting between the two sides are “fairly big.” The article added that newly developed PRC missiles were so accurate that they could hit Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui’s desk. The newspaper said that new PRC cruise missiles were accurate to within 5 meters, and it confirmed that a new missile tested in early August was the long-range Dongfeng-31.

9. Taiwan Entry to UN

The Associated Press (Edith M. Lederer, “CHINA DENOUNCES TAIWAN’S UN ATTEMPT,” United Nations, 08/19/99) reported that, in a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Thursday, PRC UN Ambassador Qin Huasun denounced Taiwan’s attempt to regain its seat in the United Nations. Qin said that any attempt to create “two Chinas” in the UN, “would only fan the flames of Taiwan’s separatist activities and hinder China’s peaceful reunification.” Qin also said that Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui’s “theory” of “special state-to-state” relations was unanimously opposed by all Chinese “the minute it was dished out.” He argued, “The separatist remarks by the Taiwan authorities and their attempts to create ‘two Chinas’ in the international arena have severely damaged cross-Straits relations, built up tension in the area and endangered peace and security in the Asia Pacific.” He accused Taiwan’s supporters of launching “a brazen challenge to the ‘one China’ principle,” and urged them “to immediately correct their illegal act of obstructing China’s peaceful reunification.”

10. PRC Entry to WTO

The Wall Street Journal (Ian Johnson, “CHINA SAYS IT WANTS TO ADVANCE WTO TALKS, BLAMES U.S. FOR HALT,” Beijing, 08/20/99) reported that PRC Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation spokesman Hu Chusheng said Thursday that the PRC wants to “push forward” with negotiations to enter the World Trade Organization (WTO). Hu stated, “We shall actively push forward the negotiating process.” He argued that the stall in negotiations is “totally because of reasons on the U.S. side.” He added that the PRC hopes the US “will take concrete actions” to improve bilateral relations so the talks can resume.

11. US Carrier Deployment in Pacific

Pacific Stars and Stripes (Matt Curtis, “ADMIRAL: KITTY HAWK TO STAY IN PACIFIC,” Atsugi Naval Air Facility, 08/21/99, 1) reported that US Navy Admiral Archie Clemins, commander in chief of US Pacific Fleet, said Thursday that barring an international crisis, the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk will not be redeployed to the Middle East for at least two years. The Kitty Hawk is scheduled return to Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, on Wednesday. Clemins said it would be “inappropriate” to discuss any possible US response to PRC-Taiwan tension, but he noted that in 1996, neither the USS Independence nor any other aircraft carrier were within 120 miles of Taiwan. He added, “contrary to what people may have heard, there were never two carriers in that vicinity at the same time.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 20.]

12. Indian Nuclear Doctrine

Reuters (Naveen S. Garewal, “INDIA SAYS OPEN TO TALKS ON NUCLEAR DOCTRINE,” Chandigarh, 08/20/99) reported that Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said Friday that India was prepared to discuss its draft nuclear doctrine with all nations. Vajpayee stated, “It is only a draft and not a final policy. We are willing to discuss it with anyone who wishes to do so.” He added, “We want that the document be studied properly before it attains finality.” Vajpayee also said, “During the next session of the United Nations General Assembly, we will raise the issue of all nuclear state adopting complete destruction of nuclear weapons.” Pakistani Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz told BBC World radio on Friday, “this is a draft doctrine which has not yet been approved by the government, but our first reaction is that basically this is a call for a nuclear arms race in the subcontinent.” He said the promise of no first use was “designed to make Pakistan’s deterrent capacity ineffective because we have a very large conventional gap between India and Pakistan and, in that context, if India were to attack us … and we have signed a no first use, then obviously our deterrence is gone.”

13. US-Russian Nuclear Talks

Reuters (“START-3 ARMS TALKS WITH US FAILED-RUSSIAN OFFICIAL,” Moscow, 08/20/99) and Reuters (Adam Tanner, “RUSSIA OFFICIAL SAYS U.S. DOOMING ARMS TALKS,” Moscow, 08/20/99) reported that Leonid Ivashov, head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s international cooperation division, said on Friday that this week’s preparatory talks with the US on a START-III nuclear weapons reduction treaty had failed. Ivashov stated, “Perhaps the Foreign Ministry would put it more gently but there were no results from these talks.” He added, “The ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) treaty is the basis on which all subsequent arms controls agreements have been built…. To destroy this basis would be to destroy the entire process of nuclear arms control.” He said that the US decision to pursue research into anti-missile defense systems violated the ABM treaty, adding that Russia had made clear its position to the US side during this week’s talks in Moscow.

14. US Missile Defense

Reuters (Charles Aldinger, “U.S. POSTPONES MISSILE TEST OVER NEW MEXICO,” Washington, 08/19/99) reported that the US military on Thursday postponed a test of the Patriot Advance Capability Missile (PAC-3) because of problems with a Hera target test rocket in New Mexico. Officials at the White Sands Missile Range said it was not clear why the Hera could not be launched and they did not know when the test might be rescheduled.

The Wall Street Journal (Anne Marie Squeo and Jeff Cole, “U.S. SPEEDS UP DEFENSE-MISSILE PLANS, IN EXPECTED LIFT TO LOCKHEED MARTIN,” 08/20/99) and the Washington Post (Bradley Graham, “PENTAGON GIVES THAAD A BOOST,” 08/20/99, 2) reported that officials of the US Army and the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization announced Thursday that, based on recent testing successes, the US Defense Department is authorizing Lockheed Martin Corporation to proceed toward full development of the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile interceptor. The approval is considered tentative, however, because Lockheed Martin will be using the same funds it has been receiving under a “risk reduction” research and testing phase. In a statement, US defense officials said that senior officials “are confident” the system has proved itself and is ready to advance. The officials said that millions of dollars will be saved by proceeding more quickly to the next phase, because remaining funds already devoted to the program will be spent developing an advanced version of the interceptor. Jacques Gansler, the Defense Department’s chief of acquisition, said in a letter to Congress, “Rather than spending months and millions of dollars on another THAAD prototype launch only to prove a point, we have decided to get on with the business of engineering development of the real thing. This will also accelerate the ultimate fielding of THAAD.” John Pike, a defense analyst with the Federation of American Scientists, stated, “The tests done so far haven’t said much about how the system would perform in combat, so doing one more wouldn’t have made much difference. I may be prepared to cut the Pentagon more slack on this one because I have such low expectations about what they’ll be able to eventually deliver.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 20.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. US Policy toward DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Park Doo-shik, “US RESPONDS TO NK GESTURE,” Seoul, 08/19/99) reported that the US said on Thursday that it is willing to consider normalizing ties with the DPRK should the DPRK agree to cease the development and testing of ballistic missiles and their export. The US statement was a response to the DPRK making conciliatory gestures earlier by saying that it was prepared to negotiate the issue to resolve international concerns. A spokesman from the State Department said that normalization might include the installation of US-DPRK representative offices and the cancellation of economic sanctions. He added that the US hoped the DPRK would take this opportunity.

2. ROK-PRC Defense Talks

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “CHINA, KOREA DEFENCE MINISTERS TO MEET,” Seoul, 08/19/99), and The Korea Times (“ROK, CHINA TO HOLD 1ST-EVER DEFENSE MINISTERS’ MEETING,” Seoul, 08/19/99) reported that it was announced on Thursday that Defense ministers from the ROK and the PRC will meet for the first time. ROK Defense Minister Cho Seong-tae will hold a meeting with his PRC counterpart Chi Haotian in Beijing on August 23 to discuss ways of establishing peace on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia. During his visit through August 29, Cho will also meet with PRC government and military leaders and visit army, navy, and air force bases in Beijing and provincial areas. Cho will reportedly propose a joint military exercise intended only for peaceful purposes and reciprocal visits of military delegations and naval vessels. He will also suggest that the two countries hold defense ministers’ talks on a regular basis to help solidify trust between the two countries.

3. Aid to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “AID FOR SALT FACTORY IN NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 08/19/99) reported that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Food Program (WFP) are providing funds for the running of a salt factory in the DPRK. A source from the ROK government on Thursday said, “Two organizations will give $390,000 to the workshop in Chungjin, north Hamkyong province. The UNDP will be sending $90,000 towards the purchase of facilities for salt production, and the WFP $300,000 on a food-for-work basis.” WFP officials have recently visited the DPRK to inspect the factory site, which is predicted to produce 1,000 tons of salt per year.

The Korea Herald (“SEOUL CONSIDERING SENDING MEDICAL EQUIPMENT TO N.K., ” Seoul, 08/20/99) reported that an ROK government official said that the ROK is considering providing the DPRK with medicine and medical equipment as humanitarian aid. “In consideration of the transparency of aid supplies to the North, we decided to send drugs and medical equipment for its children and pregnant women,” the official said. The government is also studying whether to deliver aid supplies to the DPRK directly or via UNICEF and other international agencies. In view of the people’s sentiment and the nation’s economic circumstances, it will be difficult for the government to give a large amount of medical aid, the official said, declining to name a concrete amount of supplies or the exact date of delivery.

III. Japan

1. Japan-US-ROK Talks on DPRK Issues

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“JAPAN, US AND ROK TO DISCUSS DPRK ISSUES NEXT MONTH,” 08/20/99) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, US President Bill Clinton, and ROK President Kim Dae-jung will meet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in New Zealand in mid-September to discuss DPRK issues. According to the report, the three countries see some flexibility in the DPRK’s stance regarding its missile launch threat and they aim to promote the improvement of their relations with the DPRK. The report added that the three-way summit meeting regarding DPRK issues would be the first of its kind.

2. Japanese-ROK Relations

The Nikkei Shimbun (“ROK IS CONCERNED ABOUT JAPAN’S NATIONALISM,” Seoul, 08/19/99) reported that Taku Yamazaki, former Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) policy research head, met with ROK Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil and ROK Defense Minister So Sung-dae respectively in Seoul on August 18. During his talk with Yamazaki, Kim said, “It is necessary (for Japan) to strive to obtain understanding of Japan’s security policy from the neighboring countries.” So also said to Yamazaki, “(We are) very concerned about Japan’s nationalism. It is of great concern that the PRC and Japan move toward strengthening their military power.” The report pointed out that the concerns expressed by Kim and So suggest that the ROK is worried about the recent legalization of the national flag and anthem and Japan’s decision to introduce its own intelligence satellites. The report added that So stated, “Priority should be to deter the DPRK from launching missiles. The DPRK is using the missile as a political card according to their own scenario.”

3. Japanese Defense Policy

The Asahi Shimbun (“REFUELER REQUEST PUT ON HOLD,” 08/18/99) reported that the Japanese Defense Agency (JDA) is opting not to ask for money to buy airborne refueling aircraft in the agency’s initial request for its fiscal 2000 budget, which is to be presented to the Finance Ministry at the end of this month, sources said on August 17. Instead, JDA intends to make the request for the aircraft toward the end of this year when negotiations between the Finance Ministry and other ministries and agencies on their budget requests are in the final stage, they said. The decision to postpone the request was made apparently in response to expected opposition from the PRC and because the position of the New Komeito Party on the matter is unclear. New Komeito will join the coalition government in September. As some people in present government are wary, the request for the aircraft could be further delayed until the fiscal 2001 budget, they added. JDA officials said the nation needs airborne refueling aircraft because it has become necessary for Air Self-Defense Force’s (ASDF) aircraft to stay in the air for extended periods because of the improved capabilities of other countries’ aircraft and missiles; because the introduction of airborne refueling aircraft will enable ASDF to save fuel while decreasing noise by reducing the number of takeoffs and landings during training exercises; because airborne refueling aircraft are necessary to improve Japan’s air-defense system when dealing with possible launching of ballistic missiles by other nations; and because long-distance transportation support will be necessary when the nation takes part in future UN peacekeeping operations and other international emergency aid activities. However, some government officials are concerned about the introduction of the airborne refueling aircraft into Japan’s defense inventory. One person, who is close to Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, said, “We cannot get positive reactions from the PRC and other neighboring countries that oppose Japan’s increased military profile.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Kohei Kawashima, “DEFENSE AGENCY TO BOOST CAPACITY TO COPE WITH GUERRILLAS,” Vladivostok, 08/18/99) and the Daily Yomiuri (Kohei Kawashima, “AGENCY TO BOOST CAPACITY TO COPE WITH GUERRILLAS,” Vladivostok, 08/19/99) reported that Japanese Defense Agency (JDA) Director General Hosei Norota said on August 18 that JDA will strengthen the Self-Defense Forces’ (SDF) capabilities for coping with guerrilla assaults and biological and chemical attacks. JDA will request that the Finance Ministry earmark about 5 billion yen in the fiscal 2000 budget to implement the plan. Norota was visiting Vladivostok on his way back to Japan from Moscow. Specifically, the plan calls for a research team to be set up in the Ground Self- Defense Force (GSDF) in fiscal 2000. The team would conduct comprehensive studies on troop operations and special equipment for use in the event of attacks by guerrillas thought to be armed with weapons such as rockets, plastic explosives, and biochemical weapons. The plan also envisages the building of mock “towns” and installation of computer-aided simulators to give GSDF members the opportunity to stage exercises to help them cope with guerrilla attacks on vital facilities such as nuclear power plants. Okinawa-based US marines have a mock town for guerrilla warfare training, but the GSDF does not have such a facility. JDA will dispatch a study mission to the US, according to Norota. In addition, the GSDF’s sole paratrooper unit, the First Airborne Brigade based at Narashino Camp in Chiba Prefecture, will stage experimental exercises focusing on anti-guerrilla operations. Norota said the GSDF will set up a 22-member medical experiment unit to research equipment for coping with biochemical attacks, which will have a proposed budget allocation of about 2.4 billion yen. In addition, Norota will invite specialists from outside JDA to form an advisory panel on measures to counter biochemical weapons. Behind the plan to enhance the SDF’s ability to fight armed guerrillas is a mounting sense of crisis within JDA and the Liberal Democratic Party following the incursion into Japanese territorial waters by two DPRK spy ships in the Sea of Japan in March, observers said. Unlike with ordinary military units equipped with tanks and artillery, it is said to be very difficult to detect small groups of armed guerrillas and prevent them from entering the country. The threat of such guerrilla assaults was pointed out for the first time in the Japan-US defense cooperation guidelines compiled in September 1997. SDF has so far taken little action to prepare itself better for such attacks, largely because the country’s defense policy attaches great importance to dealing with enemy forces before they reach Japanese soil, observers said. However, a former DA chief pointed out that setting up anti-guerrilla warfare training facilities and improving the SDF’s equipment alone would not be enough to prevent guerrilla offensives.

4. Japanese-US TMD Policy

The Asahi Shimbun (“JAPAN, US SET CEILING FOR TMD,” 08/16/99) reported that Japan and the US have set a US$36 million (4.1 billion yen) spending ceiling each for the design portion of their research for a seaborne Theater Missile Defense (TMD) system to intercept ballistic missiles, sources said over the weekend. The amount is specified in a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU) drawn up by both parties, which also provisionally specifies a two-year research period–although that could be extended up to the full five years covered by the MOU, the sources said. According to the sources, the MOU’s 18 articles cover research areas of the joint project and also state that the two nations should shoulder equitable financial burdens and do their best to meet their obligations within their respective budgets. However, the amount of the spending limit was based on a US estimate and it is not necessary for the two countries’ spending to be the same, they said. In all, the total estimated cost of the joint research project is put at between 20 billion yen and 30 billion yen, according to the sources. The Cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi on Friday approved the exchange of notes with the US on the joint project for the seaborne version of the TMD system, in which intercepting missiles are launched from Aegis ships. The approved notes said that the joint research will cover four specific areas. According to the MOU, Japan is expected to take a leading role in two of the four areas– the heat-resistant covering to protect an infrared target-recognition and acquisition system, and the intercepting missile’s second-stage rocket motor. The report added that it also states that each party must get prior consent from the other before it transfers technological information to third countries.

5. Japanese-Russian Defense Relations

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“JAPAN, RUSSIA TO SET UP HOT LINE, 08/19/99) and the Daily Yomiuri (“JAPAN, RUSSIA TO SET UP HOT LINE,” 08/20/99) reported that Japan and Russia agreed on August 19 to establish a hot line between the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet to cooperate in guarding against illegal infiltration of each other’s territorial waters, as well as during search-and-rescue operations. The decision was made during talks between Japanese Defense Agency Chief Norota and Russian Pacific Fleet Admiral Mikhail Zakharenko, underlining a request made by the Russian admiral after two DPRK spy boats intruded into Japanese territorial waters in March. Zakharenko also proposed that both countries give each other prior notice if they plan to conduct naval maneuvers in the Sea of Japan. Norota basically agreed to the proposal, but he said further discussions were necessary to win consensus on his side, according to the report.

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Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China


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