NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, january 3, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. Light-Water Reactor Project

Reuters ("N.KOREA SAYS U.S. RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY KEDO DELAYS," Toyko, 12/23/99) reported that a DPRK foreign ministry spokesman warned in a Pyongyang Radio report monitored by Radiopress in Japan that any further delays in the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) program to build two light-water reactors would have "very serious" consequences. The spokesman said, "the U.S. will be held entirely responsible for (the consequences). If construction is not completed as promised ... our economic loss caused by (this) failure, to say nothing of what we lost due to the sacrifice of our independent nuclear power industry, will have to be counted or any other step of weighty importance will have to be taken."

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2. Japanese Detained in DPRK

Agence France Presse ("NORTH KOREA DETAINS JAPANESE MAN AS SPY," Tokyo, 12/29/99) reported that the official Korean Central News Agency said in a statement on December 29, 1999 that the DPRK detained Takashi Sugishima, a 60-year-old Japanese researcher for the Japan Market Economy Institute, who confessed to spying for Japan and the ROK. The dispatch said Sugishima was detained on December 4, 1999, for spying activities allegedly committed on November 30, 1999. The dispatch also said that investigations "proved that he conducted such espionage as gathering information on matters of the party, state and military secrets of the DPRK." He also allegedly gathered intelligence on DPRK relations with the US, with Japan and "other secret materials" related to the DPRK's foreign policy. Sugishima "confessed that he has long been given a task and money by the relevant specialized organs of Japan and South Korea to conduct espionage against the DPRK."

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3. ROK-DPRK Relations

Agence France Presse ("SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT PROPOSES INTER-KOREAN ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK," Seoul, 01/03/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-Jung on Monday proposed dialogue between ROK and DPRK government think tanks as part of the Sunshine Policy to establish an inter-Korean economic cooperation body aimed at "systematizing" economic exchanges pushed by private firms. Kim said in a New Year message, "I propose that (ROK and DPRK) state research agencies start discussion on establishing an (inter-Korean) economic cooperation framework." Kim called for a positive response from the DPRK and urged them to allow families separated by the division of the Korean peninsula to reunite. Kim will chair a National Security Council session on January 5 to discuss subsequent measures on his proposal. An ROK Reunification ministry official said, "first of all, the two Koreas need a government channel to systematize scattered economic exchanges being pushed by private enterprises. The channel could be expanded later to cover various non-political matters." The proposal followed a January 1 interview with the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun. Asked about the possibility of an inter-Korean summit, Kim said, "yes, I think so. But what I should do during my term is to end the cold war on the Korean Peninsula, realize peaceful co-existence of the North and South and establish peaceful exchanges. I will entrust the job of unification to our successors. It is impossible that the people, who had been unified for 1,300 years will not be unified again just because of several decades of separation. Unification is a matter of time. But for now, there are more negatives than positives for unification. We are currently not capable of economically supporting North Korea." In an interview on January 2 with the US Cable News Network (CNN), Kim predicted "significant progress" this year in ROK-DPRK relations, but said that the ROK would be neither "naive" nor "optimistic." Kim stated, "we should use both carrots and sticks. We should provide due assistance if the North abides by promises it made. If it does not, we should ensure that it suffers pains."

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4. Taiwan Missile Tests

Taiwan's Central News Agency ("TAIWAN TO CONDUCT LIVE TESTS OF US-MADE PATRIOT MISSILES IN 2001," Taipei, 01/01/00) reported that sources at the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense said on January 1 that Taiwan has scheduled live test firings of the Patriot missile in 2001. Sources said that Taiwan received the Patriot missiles from the US in 1996 and that a US combat proficiency team came to Taiwan in July 1998 to help the Taiwan Army carry out combat readiness tests on the missiles. The team later gave high marks to the training of Taiwan's Patriot missile battery, saying that it was one of the best in the world. Sources also said the US team came to Taiwan again in mid-1999 to assess the feasibility of live test firings of the missiles on the island.

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5. Taiwan Participation in TMD

Central News Agency ("US PROMISES NOT TO EXCLUDE TAIWAN FROM TMD PROJECT: ENVOY," 12/29/99) reported that Taiwan Representative to the US Stephen Chen made a statement in a report to the Legislative Yuan's Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee on December 29, 1999, that the US government has promised not to exclude Taiwan from the US-proposed theater missile defense (TMD) system. Chen said that senior officials from both sides have exchanged views on TMD-related issues. Chen said, "in addition to expressing our interest in participating in the TMD project, we have also told American officials that our Ministry of National Defense is carefully evaluating whether to take part in the project." Chen said that Taiwan has asked the US government not to hastily deny its access to the TMD. Chen stated, "the United States hopes to maintain prosperity and development in the Taiwan Strait and entire Asia-Pacific regions, and this is why it has repeatedly stressed its stance on peaceful solution to cross-straits issues." Chen pointed out that the US administration's strong reaction to the PRC's intensified military buildup fully reflects the great importance it has attached to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Chen also said that the US now adopts a strategy of "de-politicizing security issues" and not adopting detrimental steps to cross- straits stability when it comes to arms sales issues. However, Chen continued, "from the US viewpoint, the ROC (Republic of China) government's failure to consult with the United States before unveiling its 'special state-to-state relationship' theory has affected mutual trust." Chen predicted that the US executive branch may impose some hurdles to its working relationship with the ROC's representative office in Washington because of the "special state-to-state" theory.

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6. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France Presse ("TAIWAN APPEALS FOR PEACEFUL REUNIFICATION WITH CHINA," Taipei, 12/31/99) reported that Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui on December 31, 1999 called for peaceful reunification with the PRC, but demanded parity and democracy as preconditions. Lee said in his New Year's Eve Message, "at this new stage of civilization, we must, with a broad vision, contemplate the historical significance of our national development and identify objectives for future national growth. We strongly uphold that both sides of the (Taiwan) Strait should conduct extensive and constructive dialogue based on parity to jointly improve cross-strait interaction and promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Although Beijing continues to create obstacles while refusing to face the reality that the two sides are under separate rule -- neither of which is subordinate to the other -- our goal of pursuing a new China founded on democracy, freedom and equitable prosperity will never change." Lee also said, "we must actively strive to participate in international organizations, expand our foreign relations, ensure our rightful status in the new international order, and seek greater room for development, all to protect national dignity and the welfare of our citizens." On December 30, 1999, Taiwan set up diplomatic relations with the west Pacific island group of Palau.

Reuters ("CHINA WARNS TAIWAN AGAINST SEEKING INDEPENDENCE," Beijing, 1/02/00) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin warned Taiwan not to seek independence. Jiang said in a New Year speech, "China will not sit idle and tolerate any act calculated to split China, pursue the so-called 'independence' of Taiwan, or harm the fundamental interests of the Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits." An expert on Taiwan affairs said that the speech was aimed at reining in the island ahead of presidential elections in March. Jiang stated, "we have reason to believe that the Taiwan issue can definitely be resolved. When the time is ripe, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should enter into dialogue under the principle of one China. Anything can be discussed. I have to emphatically point out that the 'one China' principle is the basis and premise of peaceful reunification. We will take into consideration the different characteristics of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and Taiwan will be given plenty of flexibility to realize peaceful reunification of China under the 'one country' premise."

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7. Taiwanese Election

Agence France Presse ("TAIPEI-BEIJING TIES 'QUASI-INTERNATIONAL': TAIWAN PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL," Taipei, 1/02/00) reported that Taiwanese independent presidential candidate James Soong on January 1 called for a peace agreement with the PRC to promote bilateral, "quasi-international" ties. Soong said in a live US Cable News Network interview, "if I were elected as the president, I would propose to de-escalate the tensions." Soong also said he would "suggest we sign a non-aggression peace agreement between the People's Republic of China and Taiwan with the participation of international witnesses." Later at a press conference, Soong said, "some had proposed we forge a non-aggression agreement with the mainland, but Taiwan might be left unguaranteed without international witnesses," given the military strength of the PRC. He recommended that the proposed pact be placed under an Asia- Pacific security system since the "cross-strait relationship regards not only the strait's peace but influences Japan and the United States." Mindful of the PRC military threat, Soong said he would "support any measures conducive to the increase of the Republic of China's (Taiwan's) defense force, including joining the TMD (theater missile defense)." However, he strongly opposed any arms race with the PRC.

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8. US-PRC Relations

Agence France Presse ("NEW U.S. PRESIDENT MUST ABIDE BY ONE-CHINA POLICY: CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY," Tokyo, 12/27/99) reported that PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said in an interview published by Japan's Sankei Shimbun on December 27, 1999, that the next US president must stick to a "one-China" policy. Tang said, "the Taiwan problem is the most difficult and challenging issue between the United States and China. It is a major concern for us to see whether a new U.S. president and his subsequent administration will abide by the current policy and affirm U.S. standpoints" on Taiwan. Referring to Lee Tung-hui's 1995 visit to the US, Tang said "as for this issue, I want Japan not to tread the same path of the United States. I believe the Japanese government and foreign minister will take appropriate measures against a plot by some Japanese who want to invite Lee as a private citizen."

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9. PRC-Russia Relations

Reuters ("EXPERTS SEE CONTINUITY IN CHINA-RUSSIA TIES," Beijing, 01/01/00) reported that Western diplomats said that Russian President Boris Yeltsin's surprise resignation on December 31, 1999 is unlikely to disturb warming Sino-Russian ties. The PRC has made no official comment on Yeltsin's resignation. A Western diplomat in the PRC said, "I don't think the transition will be any great shock to the Chinese. I think they'll be comfortable with Putin." The diplomat said Jiang had met Putin on several occasions in earlier stages of their political careers, and that a plan had been in the works for Putin to visit the PRC early next year. However, Li Fan, a political analyst at the World and China Institute, a private think-tank, said that uncertainty about Putin's own political strength left a question mark over the future of Sino-Russian ties.

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10. PRC-Vietnam Border Agreement

Agence France Presse ("CHINA HAILS BORDER AGREEMENT WITH VIETNAM," Beijing, 12/30/99) reported that the PRC was to sign a border demarcation agreement with Vietnam on December 30, 1999. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue described the agreement as a "major event in the history of bilateral relations" and a "major contribution to peace and stability in the region." The agreement does not cover the Spratly or Paracel islands in the South China Sea. Zhang said, "next year, the two sides will continue their efforts so as to consult with each other on problems of other territorial disputes and will try to reach an agreement in the year 2000."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK-DPRK Relations

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "KIM SEES SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS IN N.K. TIES WITH SEOUL, WASH., TOKYO," Seoul, 01/03/00), The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, "PRES. KIM EXPECTS NK TO IMPROVE TIES WITH US, JAPAN THIS YEAR," Seoul, 01/02/00) and Chosun Ilbo (Kim Min-bai, "KIM HOPEFUL FOR TWO KOREAS SUMMIT DURING HIS TERM," Seoul, 01/02/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said in an interview with the Cable News Network (CNN) on Sunday that he expects "significant progress" in the DPRK's relations with the ROK, the US and Japan. "This sunshine policy of engaging the North is backed by the entire world, even by the North's traditional allies - China, Russia and Vietnam," Kim noted. Kim also remarked that despite the recent developments, he would be neither "naive" nor overly "optimistic." "We should use both carrots and sticks (in dealing with the North)," the President said. Kim said that the US would have to continue negotiating with the DPRK on the missile issue. "We should provide due assistance if the North abides by promises it made. If it does not, we should ensure that it suffers pains," he said. The President said that despite economic hardships, the government of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il appears to be stable, as he maintains a firm grip on the Communist Party, the administration and the military. Kim Dae-jung also said that he would like to make known the ROK's intentions to support the DPRK economy, adding that the US, Japan and other nations would contribute only when the ROK takes the lead in assisting the DPRK. President Kim added in a separate interview with Japan's Asahi Shimbun that he believes an inter-Korean summit could be arranged before his term ends in February 2003.

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2. DPRK Policy in 2000

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "N. KOREA PLEDGES TO ENHANCE MILITARY POWER IN YEAR 2000," Seoul, 01/03/00), The Korea Times ("NK VOWS TO BUILD MILITARY-BASED 'POWERFUL NATION'," Seoul, 01/02/00) and Joongang Ilbo ("NORTH KOREA'S CHOLLIMA MOVEMENT TO RESTART," Seoul, 01/02/00) reported that the DPRK vowed on Saturday to step up its efforts to become a powerful nation by enhancing its military, ideological, scientific and technological capabilities. The message called for the DPRK's 22 million people to unite around leader Kim Jong-il and increase their efforts to build a powerful nation. Discussing inter-Korean relations, the message said, "We can never forgive the anti-unification moves of the (ROK) puppets, who have colluded with foreign powers." The message also criticized the DPRK's other major rivals, particularly the US. The US was denounced for its imperialist ambitions, which the DPRK called "poisonous" for DPRK people striving for "juche (self-reliance)." ROK government officials said that this year's message indicated that the DPRK is beginning to place more emphasis on pragmatism in its dealings with foreign countries. "There seems to be some slight but clear changes in the North's attitude, given that the message omitted the annual calls for the abolition of Seoul's intelligence agency and its National Security Law," an ROK Unification Ministry official said.

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3. DPRK-Russia Relations

Chosun Ilbo (Hwang Seong-joon, "NK POLITBURO HEAD VISITS MOSCOW," Seoul, 12/30/99) reported on Friday that the head of the DPRK Supreme People's Council Standing Committee, Kim Young-nam, was learned to have visited Moscow for fifteen days in November to discuss ties with Russia. A diplomatic source said that, following the meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov will visit the DPRK in January or February 2000. Should the visit be realized it would be the first visit by a Russian foreign minister in ten years, since Eduard Shevardnaze. The official reason for the visit was illness, as Kim was hospitalized in Moscow Central Hospital for eye surgery. As a former foreign minister, Kim has a lot of contacts and his visit was kept secret at the DPRK's request. He is currently ranked as number two in the DPRK government's hierarchy, but technically listed as head of state on official documents.

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4. Japanese Detained in DPRK

The Korea Times ("JAPAN TELLS N.KOREA OF GRAVE CONCERN OVER SPY ARREST," Seoul, 12/30/99) reported that Japan's government said on Thursday that it had told the DPRK of its extreme concern and demanded an explanation over the arrest of a former journalist accused of spying. It was still awaiting a reply, said a written statement from the Japanese foreign ministry. Sixty-year-old Takashi Sugishima was detained on December 4 for spying on November 30, said a report the previous day by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The DPRK dispatch said that Sugishima worked for the Market Economy Institute in Japan and was in the DPRK as a member of a delegation. It did not specify the delegation. The ministry said that it had notified the DPRK via the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Wednesday that "we have grave concerns from the standpoint of protecting our citizen. So far we have no detailed answer from the North Korean side but according to sources we contacted on the North Korean side, Sugishima is in a hotel for foreigners in Pyongang. His health is good." The business newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun said it was still trying to confirm that the man arrested was its former employee Takashi Sugishima, who retired on June 30. "He had belonged to the Tokyo editorial bureau and worked in the revision, commodities, layout and proof-reading departments but he had never conducted international reporting," it said in a statement.

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5. DPRK View of US Policy

The Korea Times ("HONG WELCOMES NK'S HAVING OWN VIEWPOINTS ON TREND OF GLOBALIZATION," Seoul, 01/02/00) reported that ROK Foreign Affairs-Trade Minister Hong Soon-young expressed his understanding of the DPRK's recent criticism on the US Republican Party's stance toward the DPRK. Hong said, "The Pyongyang government's criticism of the Republican Party shows that it has its own viewpoints on the current trend of globalization, a development which we welcome." The DPRK's wrath toward the hawkish attitude of the US opposition party is proof they have been paying attention to the US political wrangling between the ruling and opposition camps, he added. Referring to US-DPRK relations in the event of a Grand Old Party (GOP) win in the US presidential election late this year, Hong expects that the larger structure will be kept, although there could be some minor changes in Republican tactics. "In principle, the GOP supports the Perry Report, which is the fruit of policy coordination between South Korea and the United States," he said. Hong also anticipated that the reunification of the ROK and the DPRK will be possible around 2025, although it is very hard to predict.

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6. DPRK-ROK Economic Cooperation

Chosun Ilbo (Jung Kwon-hyun, "NK BUSINESS PERMITS CANCELLED," Seoul, 12/29/99) reported that the Ministry of Unification (MOU) canceled business permits for four ROK companies that were engaged in economic cooperative arrangements with the DPRK. The companies are Songhwa International Group, Shin-il Leather, Se-won Communication, and IM Systems. This is the first such cancellation since the enactment of the DPRK-ROK Exchange Cooperation Law in 1990. The four companies did not comply with standard business reporting procedures or were designated as delinquent businesses by financial institutions, an MOU official said. With this recent cancellation, the number of permits was reduced from 42 to 38.

III. Japan

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1. Japanese DPRK Relations

The Daily Yomiuri (Chiharu Mori, "JOINT AID URGED FOR NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 12/23/99) reported that Japanese Ambassador to the ROK Kazuo Ogura said on December 22, 1999 that Japan should consider working with the ROK on joint aid projects for the DPRK. The report said that Ogura's proposal came just after Red Cross societies and government officials from Japan and the DPRK concluded the first round of talks to prepare for the resumption of normalization talks. Ogura stated, "Japan should consider giving aid to North Korea through South Korea, so that future improvements in Japan-North Korea relations may also favorably affect South-North relations.... Tokyo and Seoul should consider joint aid projects for Pyongyang in the areas of medicine, fisheries and agriculture." Ogura also pointed to the possibility of three-way cooperation including opening the DPRK's fishing grounds to Japan and the ROK, the ROK's sale of fishing vessels to the DPRK, and Japan's payment for the fish it catches in DPRK waters. Ogura said, "If Pyongyang is intending to disrupt Japan-South Korea, Japan-US and US-South Korea relations, it would be bad for Tokyo and Washington to go it alone. Discussion between Seoul and Pyongyang is important for stability and peace in the Korean Peninsula." The report added that Ogura will be replaced in January, 2000 by Terusuke Terada, who is currently Japanese head delegate to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization.

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2. Japanese Detained in DPRK

The Daily Yomiuri (Chiharu Mori, "NORTH KOREA DETAINS JAPANESE ON SPY CHARGE," Seoul, 12/30/99) reported that the DPRK Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced on December 29 that DPRK authorities detained a Japanese female on suspicion of spying. According to the report, KCNA identified the man as Takashi Sugishima, 60, whom it described as a researcher with the Market Economy Institute. The report said that according to KCNA, Sugishima entered the DPRK on November 30 as a member of a delegation and was detained by the authorities on December 4. KCNA also said that Sugishima was detained for spying with the intention of obtaining internal documents on "the party (Workers' Party of Korea), the state and military secrets" and "foreign policy on countries such as the US and Japan." KCNA also quoted Sugishima as confessing that he "had long been commissioned by specialized organs of Japan and the ROK to conduct espionage" against the DPRK, according to the report. The report also said that observers think that the incident could trigger fresh concerns between Japan and the DPRK and that the incident might affect future negotiations on the normalization talks between the two countries. The report cited the National Intelligence Service, the ROK's security agency, as informally saying that the agency had nothing to do with the matter. The report added that the incident shocked Sugishima's family and colleagues alike, although little information on the matter is yet available. The report cited the office of the president of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun as saying that Sugishima started working at the business daily in April 1965 and that he worked in the proofreading, commodities, layout and article evaluation departments before retiring from the company on June 30 upon reaching the firm's retirement age. It added that Sugishima had no experience of international reporting. The report also cited the institute as saying that Sugishima's visit to the DPRK this time has nothing to do with the institute.

The Asahi Shimbun ("JAPANESE DETAINED IN DPRK VISITED DPRK WITH FORMER RED ARMY LEADERS," 12/30/99) reported that Takashi Sugishima, who was detained by the DPRK on spy charges, went to the DPRK with former Japanese Red Army, rightist and nationalist group members. According to the report, this information was revealed to the Asahi Shimbun by Takaya Shiomi, a former Red Army member who visited the DPRK with Sugishima. According to Shiomi, the groups visited the DPRK for "Japanese-DPRK friendship." The report added that according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, Sugishima is being detained at a Pyongyang hotel and his health condition is fine.

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3. Japanese-Russian Relations

The Nikkei Shimbun ("PRIME MINISTER SENDS PERSONAL LETTER TO PUTIN TO URGE TOWARD CONCLUDING PEACE TREATY IN 2000," 01/01/2000) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi sent personal letters to both ex-Russian President Boris Yeltsin and his successor Vladimir Putin on December 31. According to the report, Obuchi wrote to Putin, "Let us closely cooperate in our efforts to conclude a peace treaty in 2000 by succeeding the strong spirit of development in the days of Yeltsin and by further promoting the steady development of the history of Japanese-Russian relations." Obuchi also wrote to Yeltsin, "(Mr. Yeltsin) will be permanently remembered as 'the founding-father of a newly-born Russia' and 'the one who truly turned his face to Japan.'" Obuchi also emphasized that he expects Putin to honor all the existing agreements on improving Japanese- Russian relations, including the Tokyo Declaration, the Klasnoyalsk Agreement, the Kawana Agreement and the Moscow Declaration. Obuchi also asked Yeltsin to exercise his leadership from a new position.

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4. Japanese-PRC Relations

The Sankei Shimbun (Yoshihisa Komori, "PRC FOREIGN MINISTER URGES EARLY SOLUTION TO FISHING DISPUTE," 12/26/99) reported that PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan spoke to Japanese reporters on December 26, 1999 in Beijing. Tang said that the time has come for Japan and the PRC to solve the fishing issue as early as possible, while emphasizing that Japan's economic cooperation with the PRC should shift its focus from the traditional Overseas Development Aid to private investments. As for Japanese-PRC relations, which have become worse since Jiang Zemin's visit to Japan in November 1998, Tang avoided criticizing Japan by saying, "The biggest success was that we obtained from Japan a consensus on the further development of PRC-Japanese relations." As for PRC-DPRK relations, Tang stressed the continuation of the traditional friendly relations between the two countries and the PRC's expectation on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Regarding Taiwan Leader Lee Tenghui's possible visit to Japan in private capacity after retirement, Tang clearly expressed his opposition. As for the PRC's participation in the Okinawa Summit, Tang denied that possibility by saying, "The existing G8 Summit is just fine."

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5. Cross-Straits Relations

The Nikkei Shimbun (Katsuji Nakazawa, "PRC SOFTENS STANCE TO TAIWAN BY INDICATING 'MANY SYSTEMS IN ONE STATE'," Beijing, 01/03/2000) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin said on January 1 at a New Year's celebration party of the National Political Cooperative Business Conference, "(We) are aware of the difference between Taiwan and Hong Kong and Macao. (We) will solve the Taiwan issue by our policy of 'two systems in one state,' but the conditions of peaceful unification can be even softer." Jiang also said, "If the conditions became ripe, we would engage in cross-strait dialogues and negotiations under the principle of one China."

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