NAPSNet Daily Report 21 November, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 21 November, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 21, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-21-november-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. ROK Aid to DPRK
2. Japanese Support of War on Terror
3. US-Japan Smallpox Project
4. Reconstruction of Afghanistan
5. US Military Support to Philippines
II. Republic of Korea 1. Trilateral Talks on DPRK
2. US Policy towards ROK
III. Japan 1. Japanese Logistical Support for US
2. Opinion on Japanese Support for US
3. Search of Ehime Maru
4. Japan-US-ROK Military Drill
5. MOX Shipment from Japan to Britain
6. Ratification of Anti-terrorism Treaty

I. United States

1. ROK Aid to DPRK

Reuters (“WHO SEEKS S.KOREAN AID FOR NORTH’S HEALTH SYSTEM,” Seoul, 11/21/01) reported that World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Gro Harlem Brundtland asked the ROK on Wednesday to contribute to its efforts to repair the DPRK’s health system. Brundtland met with ROK President Kim Dae-jung and health officials in Seoul and informed them of the dire conditions in the DPRK. She stated, “There are many gaps that need to be filled and there are many people who suffer from a lack of medical equipment, drugs and even infrastructure problems like electricity and water.” She also thanked health authorities for the US$500,000 that the ROK had contributed to combat malaria along the DPRK’s border. However, Brundtland said her meetings in Seoul did not result in specific ROK offers of aid.

2. Japanese Support of War on Terror

The Washington Post (Nora Boustany, “JAPAN’S ENVOY ARRIVES BEARING GIFTS OF EXPANDED SUPPORT,” Washington, 11/21/01) reported that Japan’s new ambassador to the US, Ryozo Kato, discussed Japan’s contribution to the US-led war on terrorism. Kato specified that while the US can deploy aircraft carriers, missiles, long-range bombers and Marines, the Japanese can contribute antisubmarine and antiaircraft capabilities, surveillance and early warning systems. Japan will commit two supply ships and three destroyers, as well as C-130 cargo planes and multipurpose support planes. The vessels will be able to carry out supply and transportation operations in the Indian Ocean, including the British island of Diego Garcia, Australia and areas en route, and the planes can perform transportation missions from Japan to the U.S. island of Guam as well as to destinations in the Indian Ocean. Kato said that while the change in policy is “a very important initiative” by the new Japanese government and shows its “distinctive leadership,” it is not “a quantum leap.” [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 21.]

The Los Angeles Times, (“U.S. WANTS JAPAN TO SEND AEGIS DESTROYER,” Tokyo, 11/21/01) reported that US Ambassador Howard H. Baker Jr. said Wednesday that the US would prefer Japan to deploy one of its advanced Aegis destroyers in the global war on terrorism. Baker remarked, “If you care enough, you send the very best. It would be useful and helpful, and it is the best they have, but we can get along without it.” Baker added several times, however, that the US is very pleased with the overall level of support Japan has displayed in the global anti-terrorism fight. Opposition lawmakers argued that deploying the Aegis destroyer would violate Japan’s constitution. [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 21.]

3. US-Japan Smallpox Project

Reuters (Teruaki Ueno, “JAPAN CONSIDERING JOINT-U.S. SMALLPOX PROJECT,” Tokyo, 11/21/01) reported that government sources stated that Japan is worried about the potential for a biological attack using the smallpox virus. Japan has no stockpiles of smallpox vaccine, and is unprepared at present for any epidemics, officials said. Japanese officials and politicians were disturbed by a US-made video of a simulation exercise to test the US government’s response to a smallpox virus attack. The simulation ends with no resolution to the “epidemic.” An unnamed government source stated that the Japanese government and ruling parties are now trying to budget for a special project to develop vaccines for smallpox jointly with the US. The US has 15 million doses of vaccine and is testing to see if these can be stretched by diluting them. Defense Agency officials reported that Japan’s Self-Defense Forces have 2,700 personnel charged with handling bioterrorism in 15 chemical warfare units, but they are not equipped to respond to the smallpox virus.

4. Reconstruction of Afghanistan

The Washington Post (Marc Kaufman, “U.S. MEETING ENVISIONS REBUILDING AFGHANISTAN MULTI-NATION PLAN TO SEEK FINANCIAL PLEDGES,” Washington, 10/21/01) reported that after a one-day meeting in Washington Tuesday of leaders from two dozen nations and international organizations, US and Japanese officials said that they had developed an “action program” for the long-term rebuilding of Afghanistan. The plan calls for immediately creating programs to distribute seeds, hire teachers and return some normalcy to Afghans; dispatching United Nations teams to Afghanistan to assess long-term needs; and creating and funding a multi-year program to rebuild the nation. The plan also includes a series of international meetings, leading to a ministerial- level gathering early next year in Japan, to raise the billions of dollars needed to rebuild Afghanistan’s infrastructure and to help train and staff a new government. Although the US and Japan have led the effort so far, the European Union and Saudi Arabia will now join them in forming an international steering committee. Much of the international help will be organized by the United Nations Development Program. US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell opened Tuesday’s meeting by saying, “We are going to have an enormous obligation, not only the United States but the whole international community, to not leave the Afghan people in the lurch, and not to walk away as has been done in the past. We must act as fast as we can.” Afghan factions will meet next week in Berlin under United Nations auspices in an effort to create the broad-based, representative government that officials say is needed before major reconstruction can begin.

5. US Military Support to Philippines

The Washington Post, (Steven Mufson, “U.S. TO AID PHILIPPINES’ TERRORISM WAR,” 11/21/01) reported that the Bush administration told Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Tuesday that the US would give her government US$92.3 million in military equipment to bolster its ability to combat terrorists and insurgents. Philippine government sources stated that the new military equipment will include a C-130 transport plane, eight Huey helicopters, a naval patrol boat and 30,000 M-16 rifles plus ammunition. In addition, US officials told Arroyo that President Bush would revise his recent executive order freezing the assets of terrorist groups to add the New Peoples Army, a communist group that is the largest insurgency in the Philippines. Bush might also add some Muslim groups that have splintered from the Abu Sayyaf organization that is also battling Philippine government forces. Abu Sayyaf is already on the US terrorist list. Arroyo also asked for economic benefits, stating, “While evil is the cause of terrorism, not poverty, evil can spread its message where people are poor.” She said that US military assistance could help free Philippine government resources for economic development that would ultimately aid the fight against terrorism. “When you’re fighting terrorism, you’re drawing resources away from fighting poverty.” [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 21.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. Trilateral Talks on DPRK

The Korea Herald (“NATIONS TO DISCUSS N. KOREA POLICY,” Seoul, 11/21/01) reported that the ROK Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that senior officials from the ROK, the US and Japan will meet in San Francisco November 26-27 to coordinate their policies on the DPRK. During the Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group meeting, the officials will discuss recent developments in inter- Korean ties including the recent ministerial talks. Humanitarian aid to the DPRK will also be on the agenda. Deputy Foreign Minister Yim Sung-joon will represent the ROK. James Kelly, US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, and Hitoshi Tanaka, director-general of Asian and Oceanic affairs at the Japanese Foreign Ministry, will also attend the meeting.

2. US Policy towards ROK

Joongang Ilbo (“U.S. WILL SUPPORT SEOUL ON FUTURE NORTH KOREA POLICY,” Seoul, 11/21/01) reported that Thomas C. Hubbard, the US Ambassador to the ROK, said Tuesday that the US would continue to support the ROK’s inter-Korean policy no matter who wins next year’s presidential election and that any policy regarding the DPRK would be set by the ROK administration. Hubbard, speaking to a joint meeting of the Security and Unification Forum and the ROK-US Policy Forum at the National Assembly, said that although the recent inter-Korean ministerial talks ended without tangible results, it is vital to remain patient and continue engagement efforts.

III. Japan

1. Japanese Logistical Support for US

The Asahi Shimbun (Masato Tainaka, “BAKER GLAD JAPAN SHOWING THE FLAG,” Tokyo, 11/17-18/01) reported that US Ambassador to Japan Howard Baker and Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka exchanged diplomatic notes to ensure swift cooperation in the fight against terrorism and to get around a vaguely termed prohibition on weapons exports. The notes confirm that Japan’s supplies and services to US troops under the anti-terrorism law would be exempted from Japan’s three principles on weapon exports. Foreign Ministry officials said that they feared Japan’s oil supplies and repair services to the US military could somehow be constituted as “weapons” banned from export under the three principles. According to the notes, the use of logistical support, supplies and services will be consistent with the UN Charter. The supplies and services will not be transferred to other countries without prior consent of the Japanese government. Baker also praised Japan’s role in the US-led anti-terrorism drive.

2. Opinion on Japanese Support for US

The Asahi Shimbun (“JAPAN’S NON-CHRISTIAN STATUS A PLUS IN ISLAM TALKS,” Tokyo, 11/19/01) reported that the Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Koichi Kato, chairman of the Lower House Special Committee on Anti-terrorism Countermeasures, said that Japan has a unique advantage in dealing with Middle East issue which would allow Japan to carry out diplomatic activities in the region in a manner different from the US, yet not in conflict with its relationship with US. Kato expressed skepticism about US plans to establish a post-Taliban government centering on the deposed king of Afghanistan, and advocated a carrot-and-stick approach to encourage Afghan tribes to sit at a table for coalition talks. He also said, “Last spring, when I made a tour of Israel and Arab countries to gain a feel for the Palestinian conflict, I found Japan more eagerly counted on to play a role than we had expected. I came away with an impression that Japan could work with them diplomatically.” He added, “Cracks are appearing in the global network against terrorism. The first thing Japan should do is to provide assistance to Indonesia, the largest Islamic country, to help maintain its stability. It is also necessary to keep our ties strong with India and Iran.”

3. Search of Ehime Maru

The Asahi Shimbun (“SEARCH OF EHIME MARU DECLARED OVER,” Tokyo, 11/17-18/01) reported that Japanese Defense Agency chief Gen Nakatani officially ended the search on November 16 for the last missing victim of the Ehime Maru. A three-week operation by the US Navy failed to locate the remains of last one student. The remains of eight Japanese, including five teachers and crew members, were recovered. About 30 Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) divers from the rescue ship Chihaya ended their eight-day final inspection of the Ehime Maru on November 15. They only found personal possessions of the victims.

4. Japan-US-ROK Military Drill

The Asahi Shimbun (“MSDF PLANS SUBMARINE RESCUE DRILL,” Sasebo, 11/19/01) reported that the Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) is planning to host multilateral submarine rescue drill in waters off southwestern Japan next spring, MSDF sources said. Participants in the exercise, which will be the first of its kind conducted in Japanese waters, will likely include the US and ROK and will take place off Nagasaki Prefecture.

5. MOX Shipment from Japan to Britain

Kyodo (“MOX SHIPMENT SECURITY THREAT SEEN,” Washington, 11/16/01) reported that the Nuclear Control Institute (NCI) and Greenpeace International have released a letter they sent to the US government calling for an assessment of the security threat posed by a pending sea shipment of plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel back to Britain from Japan. The Japanese government and the European Atomic Agency Committee applied to the US government for permission to send the MOX fuel back to Britain earlier this year. US approval is required because the fuel is made of spent uranium of US origin. The return of the fuel was agreed upon by Kepco and BNFL in July 2000. Referring to the September 11 terrorist attacks, NCI and Greenpeace said their letter states that “material containing 225 kg of plutonium would be an attractive target for those seeking to obtain nuclear weapons materials.” The letter also states, “In response to September 11, the Department of Energy cancelled all domestic shipments of fissile materials in the US and should not even be considering approval of plutonium shipment of this magnitude on the high seas.”

6. Ratification of Anti-terrorism Treaty

The Japan Times (“JAPAN FILES ACCEPTANCE OF U.N. TERRORISM PACT,” Tokyo, 11/18/01) reported that the Japanese government submitted a letter of acceptance of the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings to UN Security General Kofi Annan on November 16, government officials said. The submission of the letter will put the treaty into effect in Japan on December 16, 30 days after the submission of the letter. The Diet passed the bill on November 9 to ratify the treaty together with a set of bills to revise existing Japanese laws in line with the pact, in order to promote cooperation with the international community in combating terrorism in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the US. The Japanese government revised seven laws, including those covering the handling of explosives, chemical weapons and nuclear reactors.

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

Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

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

Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi: hibikiy@dh.mbn.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Rumiko Seya: rumiko- seya@geocities.co.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi: hiroya_takagi@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Yunxia Cao: yunxiac@yahoo.com
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< /a>
Clayton, Australia

 


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