NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, january 28, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

South Asian Nuclear Dialogue

Nuclear Policy Project Flash

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I. United States

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1. Japan-DPRK Relations

Agence France Presse ("JAPAN VOWS TO REPAIR TIES WITH NORTH KOREA," Tokyo, 1/28/00) reported that Japan's Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi said in a key policy speech to the Diet on Friday that Japan will seek to establish diplomatic ties with the DPRK. Obuchi said, "I shall further advance the dialogue that began to develop last year, sincerely discuss the normalization of diplomatic relations and humanitarian and security issues therein." Obuchi outlined Japan's foreign policy and said ties with the US were the cornerstone "and I shall work to further bolster this relationship based on the unwavering trust between myself and President Bill Clinton." He also promised to work with the US in scaling down the US bases and facilities on the southern island of Okinawa. Obuchi said Japan would build a new facility to replace the US Futenma Air Base on Okinakwa. Regarding Russia, Obuchi said he would "spare no efforts to conclude a peace treaty" by the end of this year. Obuchi also pledged to improve relations with the PRC, "a major country in Asia."

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2. Japan-PRC Relations

Agence France Presse ("JAPAN HOPES WARMER TIES WITH CHINA," Tokyo, 1/28/00) reported that Japan's Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said in a speech to the lower house of the Diet on Friday that Japan shared in the spirit of a joint statement with the PRC that expressed regret over Japan's war-time atrocities. Kono stated, "China's stability and development leads to regional peace and stability and is very important for our country. From this viewpoint, we firmly recognize the starting point of the China-Japan Joint Communique and share its spirit with people broadly for bilateral relationships in the future." The Communique said in the preamble: "Japan is keenly conscious of its responsibility for the serious damage inflicted in the past on the Chinese people through war and deeply reproaches itself." Kono said he would "make steady progress in making concrete cooperation in broad areas."

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3. US-PRC Military Talks

Associated Press ("COHEN SAYS MILITARY RELATIONS WITH CHINA ARE BACK ON TRACK," Washington, 1/27/00), Reuters ("U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY TO VISIT CHINA AS MILITARY TIES RESUME," Washington, 1/28/00), and Agence France Presse ("COHEN ACCEPTS INVITE TO VISIT CHINA, SEES RESUMPTION OF MILITARY RELATIONS," Washington, 1/28/00) reported that US Defense Secretary William Cohen said on January 27 that the US and the PRC have agreed to resume normal military ties after two days of meetings at the US Defense Department. Cohen told reporters during a photograph session in his office with British Defense Minister Geoffrey Hoon, "I think we are on track to getting military-to-military relations back at a normal state of affairs." Cohen said he had a "very cordial" meeting on January 26 with PRC People's Liberation Army Lieutenant General Xiong Guangkai. Cohen also said, "I was, in fact, invited to return to China. I indicated that I would do so at a mutually convenient time." Cohen did not give a specific time, but aides have said they believe he might go to the PRC around April.

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4. US Military Sales to Taiwan

Associated Press (Robert Burns, "US TO CONTINUE ARMS SALES TO TAIWAN," Washington, 1/28/00) and the Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "U.S. TELLS CHINA IT WILL BALANCE MISSILES IN TAIWAN REGION," 1/28/00, P.3) reported that US Defense Department officials told a visiting PRC military delegation this week that US sales of defensive arms to Taiwan will continue. US Undersecretary of Defense Walter Slocombe headed the US team in the talks. Slocombe told reporters on January 27 that the Clinton administration has not made any decisions on selling missile defenses to Taiwan. However, Slocombe said, "we also made clear that one of the reasons why this is an issue is the buildup of Chinese missile capability, and that since we're talking about what is a sufficient defense capability, obviously the level of Chinese deployments is a relevant factor." He said he made it clear to the PRC officials that "we will continue our sale of defensive arms to Taiwan," although he would not discuss specific sales. Slocombe said that the military talks between the US and the PRC, totaling 12 hours from January 25-26, changed neither side's views on topics of disagreement, such as Taiwan and the US effort to build a national missile defense system. Slocombe said, "there were clear statements of strongly different views on a number of subjects." However, he added that there also were areas of agreement, such as the need to prevent the DPRK from building nuclear arms. [Ed. note: Both articles were included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for January 28, 2000.]

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5. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France Presse ("CHINA WARNS TAIWAN: INDEPENDENCE WILL MEAN WAR," Beijing, 1/28/00) and Reuters ("CHINA WARNS TAIWAN AGAINST INDEPENDENCE," Beijing, 1/28/00) reported that the PRC Vice Premier Qian Qichen warned Taiwan on Friday that any attempt to declare independence would lead to war. Qian stated, "we hope for peace and we deeply acknowledge the hope of the Taiwanese compatriots for peace, but Taiwan independence can only mean war between the two sides of the (Taiwan) strait. It will definitely not mean peace between the two sides of the strait." Qian stated, "we have never compromised in the least on a major issue of principle. We have always stuck to our word." He warned, "Any plot to split China will absolutely end in failure. Splittist forces in Taiwan should not start a fire which will only burn themselves." Qian urged foreign countries "not to do anything that would lead to tension between the two sides or that would impede and be detrimental to China's peaceful reunification." Qian also urged Taiwan to scrap a five decades-old ban on direct trade, transport and mail links between the two sides. Qian spoke at a meeting of leaders to mark the fifth anniversary of President Jiang Zemin's launch of his eight-point plan to reunify with Taiwan.

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6. Space-Based Weapons

Reuters ("CHINA SAYS TOP PRIORITY IS HALTING ARMS RACE IN SPACE," Geneva, 1/28/00) reported that the PRC said on January 27 that its top priority was to prevent an arms race in outer space. In his first speech to the United Nation's Conference on Disarmament (CD), the PRC's new ambassador Hu Xiaodi asked the forum to launch negotiation to ban the testing, deployment and use of weapons in outer space. Major non-aligned powers, including India and Pakistan, also took the floor to back starting substantive work in Geneva designed to avoid an arms race in outer space. According to diplomats, the US was the only one of the 66 member states against setting up a negotiating committee and is expected to continue to block the required consensus. Hu said, "as far as China is concerned, the preventing of an arms race in outer space, including the prohibition of outer space weapons as well as the prohibition of anti-ballistic missile systems which undermine the strategic stability, is the top priority. The negative developments in this field have stalled the nuclear disarmament process and undermined the basis for non-proliferation. The Chinese delegation maintains that the CD should reestablish an ad hoc committee on the prevention of an arms race in outer space ... and commence negotiations on the prohibition of testing, deployment and use of weapons, weapon systems and their components in outer space." Hu also said the PRC favored starting serious multilateral negotiations in Geneva on nuclear disarmament "with a view to their complete elimination at an early date." Non-aligned countries reiterated their call for beginning negotiations aimed at total elimination of nuclear weapons.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK-PRC Relations

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, "SEOUL SEEKS TO CREATE HI-LEVEL CHANNEL WITH BEIJING," Seoul, 01/28/00) reported that an ROK government official said on Thursday that the ROK is seeking to open a high-level channel of communication with the PRC to discuss a wide range of issues, including the treatment of DPRK refugees. ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Jang Jai-ryong told reporters that he would visit the PRC on February 2-4 to meet senior PRC Foreign Ministry officials and "within the framework of close cooperation, we are seeking to create a high-level channel of communication with China." However, Jang said that the ROK needed further consultations. The ROK decided to dispatch Deputy Minister Jang to the PRC to deepen bilateral ties in spite of the recent diplomatic row. Jang said, "we need to recognize that Korea and China have different views on some issues." He also added that it would become the starting point for bilateral dialogue and the smooth settlement of similar issues in the future. Jang is also expected to request that the PRC exercise all possible diplomatic influence over the DPRK to ensure the safety of the deported refugees.

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The Korea Times ("REPATRIATION OF POWS SOUGHT ON 50TH ANNIV. OF KOREAN WAR," Seoul, 01/28/00) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said on January 27 that, with the 50th anniversary of the Korean War this coming June, it will push more aggressively for the repatriation of ROK soldiers who are still being held in the DPRK as prisoners of war (POWs). A ministry official said, "given North Korea's blanket denial of South Korean POWs, it would be hard to expect the reclusive country to repatriate them anytime soon. But we will make every effort to resolve the POW problem."

III. Japan

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1. Japanese Foreign Relations

The Yomiuri Shimbun ("48 PERCENT OF CORRESPONDENTS SAY THEY FEEL CLOSE TO SOUTH KOREANS," 01/23/2000) reported that the Japanese Prime Minister's Office announced on January 22 that according to a national survey on Japan's foreign relations conducted annually by the office, 48 percent of respondents now feel closer to the ROK people, exceeding the percentage of those who feel otherwise (46.9 percent) for the first time in 11 years. The report also said that those who think that Japanese-ROK relations are in good shape reached 52.1 percent, while those who think otherwise constituted 38.1 percent. The report pointed out that the main reasons for the rise in these percentages in favor of Japanese-ROK relations include ROK Kim Dae-jung's policy of lifting bans on Japanese culture and the co-hosting of the World Cup soccer competition in 2002. The report added that as for other countries, 75.6 percent said that they feel close to the US. The report also added that 29.9 percent think that Japan should get actively involved in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, down from the previous poll's 31.4 percent.

The Nikkei Shimbun ("PERCENTAGE INCREASED IN FAVOR OF JAPANESE-ROK RELATIONS," 01/23/2000) reported that according to the Japanese Prime Minister's Office, more Japanese now feel close to the Asian region. The report said that 2102 people responded to the recent survey conducted by the Office from September to October 1999. According to the report, other than the ROK, the percentage of Japanese who feel close to Russia increased from 14.9 percent to 15.8 percent and the PRC's also increased from 48.9 percent to 49.6 percent, while the US percentage decreased from 77.6 percent to 75.6 percent.

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2. Japanese-Russian Relations

The Asahi Shimbun ("JAPAN AND RUSSIA AGREED TO HAVE SUMMIT MEETING IN OKINAWA," 01/24/2000) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and the Russian Finance Minister, who is visiting Japan for this year's G7 Finance Ministerial Meeting, met on January 22 in Tokyo. The report said that during their talks, Obuchi expressed his support for the new Vladimir Putin administration and his willingness to conclude a peace treaty between Japan and Russia. In response, the Russian Finance Minister said, "(As for Russian-Japanese relations,) I will completely succeed the line set by the previous president." As for the peace treaty, the Russian Finance Minister also agreed to decide on a summit meeting by the upcoming Okinawa Summit in July, said the report. The report added that before the Putin Administration came to power, Obuchi had already announced his expectations, saying, "I expect (the administration) to promote economic structural reforms and achieve stability.... (As for Japanese-Russian relations,) I would like to closely contact (Mr. Putin) on the issue even before the presidential election."

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3. Japanese-US Security Relations

The Asahi Shimbun ("JAPANESE-US HOST-NATION SUPPORT TALKS STARTED," 01/22/2000) reported that vice-ministerial level talks between Japanese and US foreign affairs and defense authorities began on January 21 in Tokyo to discuss Japan's host-nation support for US forces in Japan. The current agreement on support is to be terminated in March, 2001. The report said that the US side insisted on maintaining the present level of Japan's support, while the Japanese side wanted to "review" the level. The report also said that both sides agreed to continue their discussion on reaching a new pact on Japan's financial support for the US forces in Japan by this autumn.

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4. Japanese Anti-Cyber Terrorism Policy

The Asahi Shimbun ("DEFENSE AGENCY TO STUDY CYBER WARFARE," 01/28/2000) reported that Japanese Defense Agency Vice Minister Ken Sato told reporters on January 27 that the Defense Agency (JDA) will begin studying measures against cyber attacks. The report quoted Sato as saying, "(As for sending JDA staff to the US to study cyber warfare,) we have to study what types of cyber attacks there can be before studying how to deal with them." The report stated that JDA wanted to learn from the US the most-advanced military technology, including computer viruses that can disrupt the enemy's computers.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Asian Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong:
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

Leanne Paton:
Clayton, Australia

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