NAPSNet Daily Report 27 August, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 27 August, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, August 27, 1999,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Test

The Washington Post (“Doug Struck, “U.S., N. KOREA TO HOLD TALKS ON MISSILE TEST,” Tokyo, 08/27/99, A19) reported that unnamed diplomats confirmed that there has been no activity at the DPRK launch site since the DPRK recently indicated its willingness to hold negotiations on the missile test issue. An unnamed Japanese official familiar with intelligence reports stated, “We haven’t seen a missile. There’s nothing on the launch site.” US Representative Tony P. Hall, Democrat-Ohio, who is currently visiting Pyongyang, said Wednesday that a DPRK missile test would “just ruin everything. There will be a move in Congress to take away everything, including food aid.” Hall added, “There are a lot of incentives on the table: lifting trade sanctions, increasing trade. That’s what North Korea wants.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 27.]

2. DPRK-Japan Relations

Dow Jones Newswires (“N KOREA SLAMS JAPAN RESPONSE TO 1998 MISSILE TEST -KYODO,” Tokyo, 08/27/99) reported that Japan’s Kyodo News Agency said Friday that Japanese provincial assembly members visiting Pyongyang said that Song Ho-gyong, head of the DPRK’s Korea-Japan Friendship Association, expressed dissatisfaction over Japan’s reaction to the DPRK’s rocket launch last summer. Song was quoted as saying, “I have never heard the Japanese government make exaggerated comments about missile experiments by other neighboring countries.” He added, “It is a sovereign right of a peaceful state to launch a satellite for peaceful purposes.” Song said that the future of relations between Japan and the DPRK depends on how the Japanese government reacts to the DPRK’s August 10 statement explaining its basic principles for relations with Japan.

3. DPRK Fighter Purchase

The New York Times (Steve LeVine, “WHY DO KAZAKHS KEEP TRYING TO SHIP MIG’S TO NORTH KOREA,” Almaty, 08/27/99) reported that Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev said that neither President Nursultan Nazarbayev nor Prime Minister Nurlan Balgimbayev knew in advance of the sale by a Kazakh company of 30 to 40 MIG-21 fighter planes to the DPRK. An unnamed US official familiar with the case said that the US is reviewing the matter and “there certainly is the possibility that sanctions may be triggered.” An unnamed diplomat stated, “Maybe they didn’t realize the importance of selling these planes, especially to a terrorist country like North Korea. They do now.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 27.]

4. DPRK Famine

The Associated Press (“REPORT: 270,000 N.KOREANS STARVED,” Seoul, 08/26/99) reported that the ROK National Statistics Office released figures Friday showing that about 270,000 DPRK citizens are believed to have died of famine between 1995 and 1998. ROK officials said that they produced the estimates on the basis of the DPRK’s last reported population census in 1993 and testimonies of hundreds of defectors from the DPRK. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 27.]

5. ROK-DPRK Economic Exchanges

The Christian Science Monitor carried an analytical article (Michael Baker, “N. KOREA PURSUES – AND RESISTS – SOME CAPITALIST WAYS,” 08/27/99) which said that ROK businesses are finding economic exchanges with the DPRK unprofitable. An anonymous expert on the DPRK said that Hyundai’s tour to “Keumgang Mountain is not a business. It’s political propaganda.” A Hyundai official stated, “We are just businesspeople. We are thinking of investment and return.” Another Hyundai official, however, admitted, “It won’t be so profitable.” However, he added that if Hyundai’s plans for an industrial complex are realized, they can make money then. Samsung Electronics executives visited Pyongyang this summer, but decided that the DPRK is too risky an investment. A Samsung official stated, “We’re not like Hyundai, which does everything on its own patriotic feelings…. We have to protect the interests of our stockholders.” DPRK officials had planned to begin a course on international finance and economics sponsored by the UN Development Program this spring, but canceled following extensive publicity in the ROK. One unnamed Western economist said that the DPRK’s logic consists of an “I win – you lose perspective.” Kwon Oh-hong, president of Changhan Information Ltd., a consulting firm in Seoul, said that visiting Pyongyang for business can cost US$30,000 to US$50,000 in “arrangement fees.” Kwon stated, “North Korean business is very hard. You really want to invest or trade, forget it. You want to give them your products or equipment, I can arrange that.”

6. Japanese Defense Budget

The Associated Press (Ginny Parker, “JAPAN DEFENSE AGENCY RAISING BUDGET,” Tokyo, 08/27/99) reported that the Japanese Defense Agency said Friday that it will ask the government to increase its funding for the first time in three years. Its budget request for fiscal 2000 will total US$45 billion, up 1.6 percent from this year. The agency said the budget hike is necessary to improve Japan’s ability to protect itself from intruders like the ships that entered Japanese waters in March. The Defense Agency wants to buy high-speed military boats fitted with missiles to send into the Sea of Japan (East Sea). The agency also wants a bigger and faster combat support ship to provide fuel and other supplies to the US fleet in Japan. The agency said it would also widen the scope of anti-terrorist and anti- guerrilla training.

7. Japanese Atrocities in World War II

The Washington Times (James Morrison, “CALIFORNIA CONFUSION,” 08/27/99) reported that Japanese Embassy spokesman Kazuo Kodama said Thursday that Japan has already apologized for World War II and paid reparations to war victims. Kodama said that the embassy and the ambassador “have been closely following the development” of California legislation calling on Japan to apologize and compensate victims. He said that, in 1995, Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama “made a formal apology.” He added that the San Francisco peace treaty in 1951 settled war claims against Japan, and Japan set up a US$1 billion fund in 1994 for further reparations. Kodama stated, “The resolution does not apparently reflect the past actions.”

8. Taiwanese Election

The Wall Street Journal (Russell Flannery, “TAIWAN NATIONALISTS EXPECTED TO PICK SIEW AS VICE- PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE,” Taipei, 08/27/99) reported that a senior Taiwanese official said Taiwan’s ruling Nationalist Party was expected to choose Premier Vincent Siew as its vice presidential candidate at a special meeting of the party’s central standing committee on Friday.

The Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “CHINA STANDOFF TILTS FIELD IN TAIWAN PRESIDENTIAL RACE,” Taipei, 08/27/99) reported that Taiwan’s ruling Nationalist Party presidential candidate Lien Chan has not made any strong statements regarding his policy toward the PRC. Joseph Wu, a political science professor at National Chengchi University’s Institute of International Relations, stated, “People don’t consider Lien a very strong leader vis-a- vis China.” Wu added that the higher tensions with the PRC rise, the more likely voters will rally around the ruling party.

9. Taiwanese Nuclear Prospects

The Christian Science Monitor Service (Kevin Platt, “NUCLEAR PLATFORM GETS ATTENTION IN TAIWAN’S CAMPAIGN,” 08/27/99) reported that Taiwan Independence Party presidential candidate Cheng Pang-chen reiterated his call for Taiwan to develop nuclear weapons. Cheng stated, “Taiwan has always been a force for peace, but for the last decades it has faced a constant barrage of verbal attacks and military threats from a nuclear-armed Communist China. Why can’t we develop our own nuclear bombs?” He added, “We should change our name to the Republic of Taiwan and reapply for admission to the UN.” Yan Xuetong, a scholar at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing, said that if Taiwan ever made a move toward acquiring nuclear weapons, “We would bomb all of their suspected nuclear facilities.” He added, “The US and China have moved closer and closer in cooperating on nuclear nonproliferation in the international arena. China and the US are likely to take joint steps to pressure Taiwan not to restart its nuclear weapons program.” Andrew Yang at the Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies in Taipei said that when Taiwan began a nuclear bomb research program in the 1970s, the US confiscated “all of Taiwan’s weapons-grade uranium and parts of a research reactor.” An editorial in the Taipei Times said Monday that the time required to develop atomic warheads and missiles would be seen by the PRC as its last “window of opportunity” for a pre-emptive attack. Wang Chien-shien, former chairman of Taiwan’s New Party, stated, “Of course we dislike mainland China’s using nuclear weapons to threaten us.” He added, “If the Taiwan government adopted the Independence Party’s plan to develop nuclear weapons, that would trigger an attack by the Chinese army.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 27.]

10. Russian Weapons Sales to India

Agence France Presse (“RUSSIA MAY SELL FOUR BOMBERS TO INDIA,” Moscow, 08/27/99) reported that the Sevodnya newspaper said Friday that Russia may sell four TU-22M3 bombers to India. The article quoted defense industry sources as saying that six bombers at the Gorbunov manufacturing plant in Kazan, southern Russia, are ready to be delivered. Press reports said that Russia last week sold 10 K-31 helicopters to India for US$45 million.

11. US Missile Defense

The Associated Press (“PENTAGON DEFENDS MISSILE DECISION,” Washington, 08/26/99) reported that Philip Coyle, US Defense Department director of operational test and evaluation, said that he was not criticizing the Army’s testing procedures when he called two successful tests of the Theater High Altitude Area Defense program (THAAD) “tightly scripted” and not “operationally realistic.” He stated, “The THAAD tests to date at White Sands Missile Range have been conducted carefully and professionally. These tests were important, necessary, and valuable, and were not ‘cooked’ or ‘rigged.’ The test limitations were unavoidable given range safety considerations and the maturity of the THAAD program.” Coyle added, however, that he still stands by his recommendation for more testing.

Agence France Presse (“MINISTER: MOSCOW MUST RESPOND TO US ANTI-MISSILE SYSTEMS,” Moscow, 08/27/99) reported that Russian Deputy Atomic Energy Minister Lev Ryabov said Thursday that Russia must improve its nuclear weapons because of the development of US anti-missile systems. He added that the development of state- of-the-art conventional weapons was not an alternative to nuclear arms.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Missile Test

Joongang Ilbo (“‘N.KOREA WANTS CASH FROM JAPAN,’ TOP AIDE SAYS,” Seoul, 08/27/99) and The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “NORTH KOREA USING MISSILE THREAT TO PRY ECONOMIC GAINS FROM JAPAN,” Seoul, 08/27/99) reported that an ROK senior presidential secretary for national security, Hwang Won-tak, said on Thursday that the DPRK might want to use its missile threat to extract cash from Japan, rather than the US. “The North has gained lots of food and heavy fuel oil from negotiations with the United States but could hardly get hard currency. It is a possible analysis that the North may try to use (the threat over) its missiles for a card to negotiate with not only the United States but also Japan,” he said. The DPRK has reportedly demanded cash compensation during its previous nuclear and missile talks with the US.

The Korea Times (“JAPANESE REPORT SAYS N.KOREA DELAYING MISSILE LAUNCH,” Seoul, 08/26/99) reported that the DPRK is reportedly delaying a second ballistic missile test and could even suspend it, Japan’s Kyodo News service said in a report from Washington on Thursday. Quoting unnamed “diplomatic sources” in Washington, it said the DPRK “has postponed final preparations to test-fire a ballistic missile and will likely suspend the launch.” The brief dispatch gave no further details.

2. US-DPRK Talks

The Korea Times (“US, N.KOREAN OFFICIALS TO MEET IN BERLIN NEXT MONTH,” Seoul, 08/26/99) reported that the US announced on Wednesday that it would resume talks with the DPRK in Berlin next month on improving bilateral ties. US special envoy Charles Kartman was to confer with DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan between September 7 and 11, picking up where they left off in Geneva earlier this month, State Department spokesman James Foley said. He stated, “What Dr Perry laid out in his visit to Pyongyang is the possibility of a different kind of relationship on a different basis in which the concerns of the United States and the international community are laid.” The goal, he added, was to “exploit the window of opportunity” for better bilateral ties.

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, ” SEOUL WELCOMES U.S.-N.K. CONTACT,” Seoul, 08/27/99) reported that while welcoming the US announcement on Wednesday on the resumption of US-DPRK talks, officials and analysts in the ROK expected little progress to be made in the Berlin meeting September 7-11. “We welcome the decision, and expect the bilateral talks to smoothly proceed to make progress in resolving North Korea’s missile test and other nonproliferation issues,” ROK ministry spokesman Chang Chul-kyoon said on Thursday. As for the prospects of the proposed talks, however, officials were rather pessimistic. “The outcome of the coming talks will affect Washington’s decision on the scope of lifting economic sanctions on Pyongyang,” said an official, on condition of anonymity. Not all outlooks were pessimistic, though. A DPRK watcher at the Sejong Institute said that the DPRK would eventually give up its missile program, including missile test-launches and exports, and accept economic and diplomatic incentives being considered by the US. “Under dire economic circumstances, the North has no way out but to turn to the outside world and to accept the deal,” said Paik Haksoon, a fellow of the Sejong Institute. “If the U.S. government lifts economic sanctions on North Korea, Pyongyang may as well consider a moratorium on its ballistic program this year, just as it agreed to freeze its nuclear program in the Geneva Agreed Framework in 1994,” he said.

3. US Policy toward DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (“N.KOREA URGED TO HAVE GOOD RELATIONS WITH US,” Seoul, 08/26/99) reported that when announcing a new round of talks, the US President Bill Clinton administration urged the DPRK on Wednesday to “exploit the opportunity” for good relations with the US and the rest of the world. A State Department spokesman said that the first step should be to forgo testing a long-range nuclear missile. The stakes are high, said the US spokesman, James B. Foley. “The Korean peninsula is one of the most dangerous, if not the most dangerous flash point in the world today,” he said. “And so, the idea that you could have long-range missiles introduced onto the Korean Peninsula could be profoundly destabilizing, not only for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, but with a much wider impact as well,” he added.

4. US Policy toward ROK

The Korea Times (Shim Jae-yun, “US WON’T IMPROVE TIES WITH NK AT EXPENSE OF ROK,” Seoul, 08/26/99) reported that Jeffery Curtin, director of the US Information Service (USIS), said on Wednesday that any improvement in US relations with the DPRK will not come at the expense of the ROK. “The United States is prepared to improve relations with the North in economic and diplomatic terms if it is also ready to change. But we will not seek for better ties with the North at the expense of South Korea,” he said in an interview. He cited DPRK ranking official Kim Yong-soon’s remark indicating the DPRK’s conciliatory approach toward the US and the ROK as a factor brightening prospects for better relations. He voiced hope that the PRC will play a useful role in maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

5. ROK Ship Towed from DPRK

The Korea Times (“SOUTH KOREANS TO TOW STRAY SHIP FROM NK TERRITORY TODAY,” Seoul, 08/26/99) and The Korea Herald (Lee Sung-yul, “SOUTH TEAM TO ENTER N.K-SIDE OF RIVER TO RETRIEVE BOAT,” Seoul, 08/27/99) reported that ROK military officials said on Thursday that a team of United Nations Command (UNC) officers and ROK civilians will today cross to the DPRK side of the downstream section of the Imjin River to retrieve a dredging boat that ran aground after being swept away in the recent flooding. Officials said that eight ROK civilians from the company and eight officers from the UNC Military Armistice Commission will ride two tugboats to the dredge early this morning from a port in Kimpo to tow it to Munsan. The dredge is just 2.5 km away from the northern tip of the Kimpo coast, about 30 km. southwest of Seoul, and is deadlocked at a point where the Imjin River joins the Han River. The DPRK, in a general-level officers’ meeting on August 17, decided to allow an ROK team to enter the area to tow away the boat.

6. DPRK Tourism

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “PYONGYANG SHIFTS TO TOURISM AS SOURCE OF HARD CURRENCY,” Seoul, 08/27/99) reported that an ROK expert on the DPRK said on Thursday that the DPRK’s industrial focus has shifted from manufacturing to tourism since Kim Jong-il came to power last year. “The tourism industry can bring in precious dollars more quickly than fostering the manufacturing sector, while more easily blocking ‘capitalistic contamination,'” said Oh Seung-ryul, a research fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU), in a report. Oh took the Rajin-Sunbong free economic zone as an example. The DPRK’s first experiment with capitalism has proved to be disappointing, with just 77 foreign companies investing a mere US$62.42 million in the 1991-1997 period, according to ROK Unification Ministry statistics. “The disappointing performance in attracting foreign capital, and fears of the ‘dangerous’ influence of Westerners on North Koreans may have combined to force Pyongyang to suspend the experimental market economy there,” Oh said. The DPRK, instead, had focused on tourism beginning last year, as shown by its opening of Mt. Kumgang to ROK citizens and the planned opening of Mt. Chilbo in North Hamkyung Province to foreigners, in addition to the planned remaking of Rajin-Sonbong, he said.

7. DPRK Economy

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Ki-hun, “NK ECONOMY SHRINKS FOR 9TH STRAIGHT YEAR,” Seoul, 08/26/99) and Joongang ilbo (Seo Jang-soo, “NK GDP DOWN FOR NINE CONSECUTIVE YEARS,” Seoul, 08/26/99) reported that the DPRK’s economy shrank 1.1 percent last year, marking the 9th year in a row of negative growth for the DPRK. According to the Bank of Korea (BOK) on Thursday, the DPRK’s 1998 negative growth rate, however, represented a huge improvement over the minus 6.8 percent rate in the previous year, due largely to increased agricultural and fishery output. The BOK also said that the gap between the economic output of the two Koreas lessened marginally, because of the negative 5.8 percent growth rate recorded by the ROK in 1998. Comparing the economies of the ROK and the DPRK, the ROK’s central bank said that the DPRK’s nominal gross national income (GNI) – the market value of gross domestic product – amounted to W17.59 trillion, just 1/25 of ROK’s GNI. The BOK added that the per capita GNI for the DPRK stood at W802,000 (US$126.00), 1/12 the figure for the ROK (US$3,168). The DPRK’s exports topped US$560 million and imports reached US$880 million, for a total US$1.44 billion in trade volume, which amounts to 1/157 of the ROK’s trade amount in 1998. The ROK’s population is 40 million, while the DPRK’s is 22 million.

8. US Forces in ROK

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Dae-yul, “DEFENSE MINISTER’S REMARKS CAUSE CONTROVERSY,” Seoul, 08/26/99) reported that ROK Defense Minister Cho Sung-tae’s remarks to PRC officers on Thursday that the status of US forces in Korea (USFK) will be decided in consultation with neighboring countries has sparked a major controversy in the ROK. An unnamed high-ranking official at the Ministry of National Defense said that Cho’s comments were exceedingly premature and did not reflect the government’s position. He added that the disposition of USFK would only be discussed when a permanent peace had been guaranteed on the peninsula, and that talks would be between the US and the ROK alone. In April when the issue was first raised the government stated, “the USFK remains in Korea in accordance with the US-Korea Defense treaty and is not subject to discussion with a third party. It is desirable for the USFK to remain in Korea following unification.” The ministry said that Cho never mentioned a withdrawal of USFK in his lecture and had said that the ROK and the US, taking into consideration other countries views, would make decisions on the US presence.

III. Japan

1. Japanese-ROK Talks

The Asahi Shimbun (Jo Toshio, “TOKYO, SEOUL SEE POSITIVE SIGNS PYONGYANG WILLING TO TALK,” 08/24/99) reported that Japan and the ROK agreed on August 23 that the DPRK has generated positive signs of willingness for a dialogue, but the DPRK’s motives remain unclear, according to a Japanese senior Foreign Ministry official. The agreement came during talks in Tokyo between Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura and his ROK counterpart, Hong Soon-young. The foreign ministers, however, fell short of concluding that the DPRK was withdrawing its plan to test-fire a ballistic missile, according to the official. “By not treating lightly the recent signs from Pyongyang, our two nations have sent a (positive) message to the DPRK,” the official explained. “However, there still is no telling how the DPRK will handle (the missile issue) and the two foreign ministers agreed on the need to closely watch future developments on the issue,” the official said. The positive signs mentioned by the foreign ministers include the conciliatory statement made by a spokesman at the DPRK Foreign Ministry. The DPRK spokesman said that the DPRK would be ready for negotiations to resolve international concerns over its reported plan to test-fire a long-range ballistic missile, the Japanese official said. Japan also views positively a statement released by the DPRK on August 12, which said that Japan and the DPRK would have a future in their relations if Japan settles its history issue and gives up its hostile policy toward the DPRK. During the talks, Hong said the ROK will “patiently” pursue its “sunshine policy.” In this context, Hong reiterated that it is very important to maintain the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). The two foreign ministers also reconfirmed the importance of the “comprehensive and integrated” policy approach toward the DPRK, which was put together by former US Defense Secretary William Perry, the top US policy coordinator on the DPRK. Komura said, however, that Japan wants to resolve the issue of the DPRK’s alleged abduction of Japanese civilians.

2. DPRK-European Relations

The Nikkei Shimbun (“DPRK PROPOSES TO EUROPEAN NATIONS FOREIGN MINISTERIAL TALKS,” Seoul, 08/26/99) reported that according to ROK sources, the DPRK on August 25 proposed bilateral talks in September to several European nations. The report pointed out that the DPRK may be aiming to improve its image, increase aid from the international community and improve the environment for negotiations with the US.

3. Japanese Contingency Law

The Asahi Shimbun (“‘SHUHENJITAI’ LAW ENACTED ON AUGUST 25,” 08/25/99) reported that the Contingency Law (Shuhenjitaiho or “situations in areas surrounding Japan” law) was enacted on August 25. The law was enacted as one of the New Guidelines-related laws in addition to the Self-Defense Forces Law, which had already been enacted to allow the use of guns, ships and helicopters for search and rescue of Japanese civilians overseas. The Contingency Law allows mobilization of the SDF to support the US forces and specifies types of cooperation from local governments and the use of private facilities. The article said that the enactment of these two laws legally framed Japan-US cooperation in dealing with contingencies in the Asia-Pacific. The article concluded, however, that it is problematic that the scope of “situations in areas surrounding Japan” is still unclear and that the criteria for cooperation from local governments is also unclear. The article pointed out that this raises concern whether democratic processes can be maintained.

4. Japanese Nuclear Policy

The Asahi Shimbun (Sasaki Yoshitaka, “SECRET FILES EXPOSE TOKYO’S DOUBLE STANDARD ON NUCLEAR POLICY,” 08/25/99) reported that, according to a report released by the California-based think tank Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development, the Japanese government employed a double standard in espousing “three non-nuclear principles” under the US “nuclear umbrella.” According to the report, a US aircraft carrier based in Yokosuka carried nuclear weapons until the early 1990s, while Japan was in the front line of US contingency plans in case of a global nuclear war. In a research paper titled “Japan Under the Nuclear Umbrella,” the Nautilus Institute said that its findings were based on declassified top secret documents related to US nuclear policy in Japan. Nuclear weapons were removed from the aircraft carrier homeported in Yokosuka after the US government declared in 1991 that it was withdrawing all nonstrategic nuclear weapons. However, scrutiny of the documents shows that the situation was so serious that it should not be forgotten out of hand. The institute used the US Freedom of Information Act to uncover more than 500 pages of confidential papers about US nuclear war planning in Japan. The report added that particularly noteworthy is the disclosure of “command histories” of the commander in chief of the US Pacific Command (USCINCPAC). They cover the Asia-Pacific theater, forward deployed aircraft carriers, and US forces stationed in Japan and the ROK. They project an overall picture of US nuclear weapons deployment and strategy involving Japan, according to the report. [Ed. note: The report can be found at: ]

The Asahi Shimbun carried an editorial (“TIME TO PRESS FOR NUKE-FREE ZONE IN NORTHEAST ASIA,” 08/27/99) which said that top secret documents that show Japan in the forefront of US nuclear strategy are sure to continue to be unveiled one after another under the US Freedom of Information Act, which characterizes US democracy. Each time such a document is made public, the double standard of the reality of the US “nuclear umbrella” and Japan’s official “three non-nuclear principles” of not making, possessing or bringing in nuclear weapons will be brought to light, the article said. It added that the Japanese government’s official interpretation of the term “bringing in” is both “introduction” and “transit,” while that of the US excludes “transit.” The article suggested that to correct the double standard, we must weaken and eventually eradicate the raison d’etre of the nuclear umbrella. The quickest way, according to the report, is to turn the Japanese archipelago, the Korean Peninsula, northeastern China and Far East Russia into a nuclear-free zone following the post-Cold War trend for nuclear disarmament. The report concluded that it is time that Japan talked concerned countries–including the US, the PRC and Russia–into accepting the idea of creating a nuclear-free zone in northeastern Asia.

5. Japanese Defense Policy

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“13 C-130 READY FOR OPERATION,” 08/24/99) and the Daily Yomiuri (“ASDF TO GET MORE CREW TO FLY OVERSEAS EVACUATIONS,” 08/24/99) reported that the Japanese Defense Agency (JDA) adopted a plan on August 23 to assign more crew to the Air Self-Defense Force’s (ASDF) fleet of C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, so that a greater number of Japanese residents can be airlifted from abroad in the event of an emergency. Although ASDF currently has 13 of the aircraft, the 100-strong crew assigned to them can only fly six aircraft on overseas missions at any one time. The planned increase to a crew of 130 will allow all the aircraft to fly abroad simultaneously. In addition to the C-130s, a 300-passenger government jumbo jet can also be used to evacuate Japanese nationals from overseas. The civilian airliner, however, requires a long prepared runway to take off and land. The 80-passenger C-130s, on the other hand, can sometimes be used more efficiently, flying in relays. According to JDA, it plans to submit an appropriation request for the fiscal 2000 budget to cover the cost of the increased crew numbers. In July 1997, the government sent three C-130s to Utaphao Naval Base in Thailand to prepare for the possible evacuation of Japanese nationals from Cambodia. In May 1998, six C-130s were dispatched to Paya Lebar International Airport in Singapore to prepare for an expected evacuation from Indonesia, according to the report.

The Asahi Shimbun (Kishiko Hisada, “AIRBOURNE REFUELING PUT ON AGENDA,” 08/24/99) reported that the Japanese Security Council was to discuss future introduction of aerial refueling capability into the defense arsenal in a meeting on August 24, although the Japanese Defense Agency (JDA) has decided against pressing for the planes in the initial request for its fiscal 2000 budget. JDA did not include the airborne tankers and modification of existing planes for aerial refueling in the budget request that is to go to the Ministry of Finance at the end of this month. Instead, JDA intends to propose an additional budget request for the equipment if the Security Council agrees to the idea by the end of the year. In Akita, JDA Director General Hosei Norota reiterated to reporters on August 23 JDA’s intention to forego including aerial refueling capability in the initial budget request for fiscal 2000. Norota stated, “We have reached a conclusion on the aircraft within the agency. However, I have decided that it is appropriate to discuss (the issue) more at the Security Council because there was considerable debate on the aircraft during the last Diet session.” The medium-term defense plan for the period from fiscal 1996 to fiscal 2000 already calls for the Defense Agency’s consideration of introducing aerial refueling capabilities. The report quoted JDA officials as saying that Japan needs airborne refueling equipment and tankers because of the need to keep Air Self-Defense Force planes aloft for extended periods to address the improved capabilities of other countries in terms of aircraft and missiles.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun:
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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