NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, november 3, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. US-DPRK Missile Talks

Reuters ("N.KOREAN MISSILE TALKS END WITHOUT RESOLUTION," Kuala Lumpur, 10/03/00) reported that the US and the DPRK ended three days of talks with the DPRK talks in Kuala Lumpur on the DPRK's missile program. Robert Einhorn, US Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation, said in a statement, "The delegations further clarified their respective positions on the full range of missile issues and continued to expand areas of common ground, although significant issues remain to be explored and resolved." The statement added, "The delegations also explored in depth the idea of exchanging launches of DPRK satellites for serious missile restraint by the DPRK," and that the US would now decide on how to proceed from here.

The Wall Street Journal (Eduardo Lachica, "U.S. SECURITY PANEL SAYS NORTH KOREA SHOULDN'T BE GIVEN SATELLITE KNOW-HOW," Washington, 11/02/00) reported that a panel of national-security experts warned the US government against providing the DPRK with satellite technology, saying that it could be adapted for military use. The study was sponsored by the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center and included Asian experts and war-gamers from the US Army War College and the US Air Force's Institute for National Security Studies. The study also urges an overhaul of the 1994 Agreed Framework, proposing replacing at least one of the reactors with a non-nuclear power plant and rebuilding the DPRK electric grid. The study's argues that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has an "uncompromising desire to stay in power," and that his regime uses its military and the threat of nuclear capability as a means of extracting aid for its short-term survival without having to make fundamental reforms. The study urges the next administration to seek the cooperation of the PRC and Russia in preventing DPRK refugees from being forcibly repatriated. The authors argued that only steady external pressure can force the regime to respect its citizens' rights. They also recommended inviting PRC military commanders to observe US-ROK military exercises so that they can convey to the DPRK the credibility of US plans to respond if the DPRK were to invade the ROK. [Ed. note: This study is available on the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center's Website at:]

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2. US-DPRK Relations

The Washington Times (David Sands, "ALBRIGHT DEFENDS N. KOREA DETENTE" 11/03/00, 1) and Agence France-Presse (Matthew Lee, "ALBRIGHT URGES NEXT US PRESIDENT TO CONTINUE NKOREA DIALOGUE," Washington, 11/02/00) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Thursday defended recent US engagement of the DPRK. Albright stated, "The substance of an agreement matters far more than the timing. But if prospects for further progress develop, we will pursue them." She added, "We would be irresponsible if we did not take advantage of an historic opportunity to move beyond 50 years of Cold War division and reduce the danger North Korean missiles pose to us and others around the globe." Albright argued, "the next president will have to choose whether to continue down the path we have begun. Respectfully, I hope he will and believe he should, because I am convinced it is the right path for America, our allies, the people of Korea, and the world." Regarding the effect of US- DPRK talks on US-ROK relations, Albright stated, "Relations between the United States and South Korea have become 100 percent 'wedge-proof.'" She said that during her recent trip, "I know that I didn't see anything in North Korea beyond what I was supposed to see. I saw an empty city, and I saw a perfectly orchestrated, totalitarian performance of people all dancing in step. Only a dictator can manage to get 100,000 people to dance in step." She added, however, that "without dialogue, we are stuck with the status quo. And I believe the risks of trying to work with North Korea are less than the ongoing costs of confrontation." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for November 3, 2000.]

The Washington Post carried an opinion article by Harold Hongju Koh, US assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor ("A BREAKTHROUGH IN NORTH KOREA," 11/02/00, 29) which said that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's visit to the DPRK was a "landmark step" toward ending the tension in US-DPRK relations. The author argued, The secretary accepted that invitation fully mindful of North Korea's dismal human rights record.... Kim Dae Jung, a longtime advocate of democracy and human rights in his own country and worldwide, strongly encouraged the secretary to travel to Pyongyang." He added, "Not only was the secretary the first American Cabinet official ever to raise the issue of human rights with the highest-ranking North Koreans, she also pursued directly with Kim Jong Il in-depth discussions of issues obviously critical to the reduction of tensions and expansion of freedom on the peninsula." The author argued, "As we now pursue broader human rights discussions with North Korea, we must stay focused on substance." He concluded, "Opening dialogue--particularly on the issues of weapons of mass destruction and ending hostility--is obviously critical to advancing any human rights agenda in North Korea. If vigorous diplomacy brings closer the day that 23 million North Koreans can enjoy genuine freedom, then let us have more of it." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for November 2, 2000.]

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3. Clinton's Visit to the DPRK

The New York Times carried an opinion article by Park Shin-il, assistant to Lee Hoi-chang, president of the ROK's Grand National Party ("WHY BE A PROP FOR PYONGYANG?" Seoul, 11/03/00) which said that while the desire of the US to establish good relations with the DPRK is understandable, it is hard to see why the US would choose to "expend the valuable political capital" of a visit to the DPRK by US President Bill Clinton. The author argued, "Experience dictates that Pyongyang will respond to American overtures only if it is in its interest to do so. It will do so not because the United States goes out of its way to please its leader, Kim Jong Il." The author argued that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's visit did not have a "better result" because of the accommodating gestures she made while in Pyongyang. Likewise, a visit by Clinton "would only allow Pyongyang to neglect its relations with South Korea.... And a visit could give both South Korea and the United States a false sense of security, weakening the resolve of both countries to maintain security measures, including keeping American troops in Korea. " The article stated, "The only possible benefit of a presidential visit might be the effect it could have on North Korean society, which would be contrary to Kim Jong Il's own intentions and expectations. But even then, the political costs, to both the United States and South Korea, are too high." It concluded, "There should only be a presidential visit if there is tangible progress on the issues. A visit at this time is neither necessary nor helpful to anyone--save Kim Jong Il." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for November 3, 2000.]

The Los Angeles Times carried an opinion article (Jim Mann, "WHY CLINTON SHOULD NOT VISIT N. KOREA," Washington, 11/01/00, 2) which said that a visit by US President Bill Clinton to the DPRK "might be good for him personally, but terrible for America." The author argued, "First and foremost, a presidential trip to North Korea is not the kind of initiative that should be undertaken by a lame-duck president," as Clinton will not bear the political responsibility of dealing with the DPRK for the next four years. He added, "Second, Clinton's trip comes too quickly after Albright's. There are implicit trade-offs involved in any high-level trip. Clinton and Albright would be, in effect, giving North Korea two visits for the price of one." The author argued that a Clinton trip is also unnecessary as a missile deal could be signed on a second Albright visit or a trip by national security advisor Sandy Berger. He quoted Stanford University professor Michel Oksenberg as saying hat the Clinton administration should "work with the new team coming in, and let them have the opportunity to develop this relationship further, after widespread consultations with our East Asia allies and with the Congress." The article concluded, "In the end, the risk of a Clinton trip to North Korea is that it will backfire. It could later be disavowed by a new administration or rejected by Congress."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK Compliance with IAEA

The Korea Herald (Kil Byung-ok, "IAEA OFFICIAL SAYS N.K. COMPLIANCE WITH NUCLEAR SAFEGUARDS WILL FOSTER RAPPROCHEMENT," Seoul, 11/03/00) reported that Mohamed El Baradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Thursday that the DPRK's compliance with IAEA safeguards will help to further facilitate its rapprochement with the ROK. El Baradei said that he hoped that the US-DPRK discussions amicably resolve the issues related to the DPRK's nuclear and missile programs. He made these and other points at the 12th meeting of the Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference (PBNC), which ended its five-day session on Thursday.

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2. DPRK-US Talks

Chosun Ilbo ("U.S. WEIGHING NORTH'S BID IN MISSILES TALKS," Seoul, 11/03/00) reported that negotiators from the US and the DPRK continued their talks Thursday on curbing the DPRK's missile program. The second day of talks resumed after a dialogue on Wednesday in which a DPRK official described the mood as "very good." Officials said that the US proposed on Thursday that the DPRK suspend all research and development of missiles with a range of more than 1000 kilometers in exchange for the US launching the DPRK's satellites into orbit.

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3. DPRK-Japan Talks

Chosun Ilbo ("NORTH KOREA AND JAPAN WRAP UP NEGOTIATIONS," Seoul, 11/01/00) reported that Japanese and DPRK officials wrapped up two days of normalization talks Tuesday in Beijing, but with little progress. DPRK chief negotiator, Jong Tae-hwa and his Japanese counterpart, Kojiro Takano, said that they would meet again when they were both ready. A Japanese Foreign Ministry official said that the next meeting could take place late this year or early next year. This time around, diplomatic sources said, the Japanese delegation had not expected any tangible results on the question of whether Japan would make amends for its colonization of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945 with economic aid or war compensation.

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "PROGRESS IN JAPAN-N.K. RELATIONS NOT IN SIGHT," Seoul, 11/03/00) reported that ROK officials and analysts said Thursday that Japan has been and will most likely continue to experience difficulties in building ties with the DPRK. The foremost reason for the lack of progress was their refusal to make concessions on some key issues, including the DPRK's call for Japan to atone for its past colonization of the Korean Peninsula. The two sides also failed to find a solution to Japan's long-standing demand that the DPRK provide information on 10 missing Japanese citizens that Tokyo believes were abducted by DPRK agents in the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to these differences, ROK observers said, internal obstacles facing Japan might have been another factor contributing to the slow progress. The Japanese government is said to be in a dilemma as it tries to keep pace with the ROK and the US in dealing with the DPRK while facing mounting internal criticism for its "soft" policy. Professor Kim Ho-sup of Choongang University in Seoul agreed, saying that despite the rapid thaw in relations between the US and the DPRK, it will take a longer time for Japan and the DPRK to improve relations.

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4. DPRK-Japan Economic Exchange

Chosun Ilbo ("BIZ TEAM TO NORTH," Tokyo, 11/02/00) reported that a Japanese business organization that facilitates economic exchanges with the DPRK will dispatch an advance team to the DPRK early next year, according to Japanese media reports on Wednesday. The economic team is to visit the DPRK capital and the city of Rajin. The visit follows a request by the DPRK's Committee for Promotion of International Trade, and some officials believe that the team's visit could lead to improved relations between the two countries. The team will consist of Japanese companies in the fields of construction, steel, machinery and other fields related to developing infrastructure.

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5. DPRK-Germany Relations

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "GERMAN MINISTER REAFFIRMS OPENING OF TIES WITH N.K.," Seoul, 11/02/00) and The Korea Times ("GERMANY TO URGE NK TO BECOME RESPONSIBLE INT'L MEMBER," Seoul, 11/02/00) reported that German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer on Wednesday reaffirmed his government's intention to establish diplomatic relations with the DPRK, but did not reveal the schedule of the normalization process, ROK officials said. "We decided to open ties with North Korea to contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula and help the North to open up its society," Fischer was quoted as saying.

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6. DPRK Food Shortage

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "FOOD SHORTAGE IN NORTH TO REACH 3.8 MIL. TONS NEXT YEAR," Seoul, 11/02/00) reported that an ROK report said Wednesday that the DPRK is expected to suffer from a food shortage of 3.8 million tons until next year's harvest season due to its underdeveloped agricultural sector. "This year's food production in the North is estimated at 2.4 million to 2.7 million tons," said Kim Woon-keun, senior fellow at the Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI), at a seminar. As the DPRK's food demand is estimated at 6.2 million tons, this would lead to a food shortage of up to 3.8 million tons next year, he added. Daud Khan, who is responsible for the Asia-Pacific region at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), noted that only 2 million hectares out of the 12.3 million-ha DPRK territory are now suitable for farming. "Moreover, the temperature there is below zero for more than three months out of the year, and drought and floods often destroy seeding and harvest seasons," he said.

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7. ROK DPRK-Cooperation Fund

The Korea Herald ("SEOUL TO COVER W2.83 BILLION FOR N. KOREAN CULTURAL EVENTS," Seoul, 11/02/00) reported that the ROK government is expected to spend a total of 2.83 billion won (US$2.5 million) from its inter-Korean cooperation fund to subsidize projects to invite DPRK artists to perform this year. According to the Unification Ministry on Wednesday, the government already extended 637 million won in subsidies to the Pyongyang Art Troupe and 319 million won to the Pyongyang Youth and Students Art Troupe for their performances in Seoul. A ministry official said, "The inter-Korean cooperation fund is intended to help cover the costs for North Koreans' visits to the South. The ministry decided to make use of the fund in cultural events as part of efforts to expedite inter-Korean exchanges."

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8. Inter-Korean Summit Stamp

Joongang Ilbo ("STAMP FOR SUMMIT," Seoul, 11/02/00) reported that the DPRK has printed a commemorative stamp of the meeting between ROK President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il in June in its capital, the DPRK's state media said on Tuesday. "The North-South summit stamp was printed to commemorate the first-ever high-level talks between North and South," the DPRK's Korean Central News Agency said.

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9. Korean War Massacre

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, "SEOUL, WASHINGTON TO DISCUSS RESULTS OF NOGUN-RI PROBE," Seoul, 11/03/00) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said on Thursday that ROK and US military officials would meet in Washington on Friday and Monday to exchange opinions on their interim probes into the alleged massacre of civilians by US troops during the Korean War. Based on the results of the talks, the two countries will hold a government-level meeting next month to set the deadline for the probes and follow-up measures, it said. A five-member ROK delegation, headed by Army Lieutenant General Kim Jong-hwan, and a seven-member US team lead by US Army Lieutenant General Michael Ackerman are scheduled to hold two rounds of bilateral coordination group talks. "At the meetings, the two sides will compare and evaluate their respective interim investigations of the Nogun-ri incident," said a ministry official, adding that they would also exchange opinions on future probe schedules and procedures.

III. Japan

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1. Japanese-DPRK Normalization Talks

The Daily Yomiuri (Tatsuya Fukumoto, "N. KOREA'S REJECTION OF PROPOSAL A BLOW," Beijing, 11/02/2000) reported that the Japanese government expressed disappointment in the DPRK's refusal on October 31 to accept Japan's offer of an economic cooperation formula as a measure to settle the past. According to sources close to the Japanese delegation, the Japanese side proposed an economic aid formula similar to the package Japan offered when it normalized relations with the ROK in 1965, but the DPRK made it clear that it would continue to insist that Japan pay compensation for the settlement of past issues, namely Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, and refused the proposal. Because Japan had expected that the recent progress in the bilateral relations between the DPRK and the ROK and the DPRK and the US would aid its own normalization talks, the DPRK's refusal of the Japanese proposal came as a blow, said the report. The report pointed out that the Japanese government did not expect the DPRK to easily withdraw its demand on compensation, but that there was undeniable optimism that, as one Foreign Ministry official put it, the DPRK would show a "positive attitude" if the ROK-type aid deal were explained in detail. The report also pointed out that there was the impression that a DPRK beset with economic difficulties entertained mounting expectations for a major economic cooperation package from Japan. The report suggested that several government and ruling coalition officials think that Japan's strategy failed because the DPRK took advantage of the confusion within the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori as represented by Mori's recent statements about Japanese nationals allegedly abducted by the DPRK and the replacement of former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakagawa. The report concluded that although the Japanese government cannot readily back down on its stance to "settle the past" by offering economic assistance, the likelihood is strong that even talks between the two nations' foreign ministers would not break much ground.

The Asahi Shimbun ("MORI SAYS THAT HE STILL SEES HIS PROPOSAL AS OPTION FOR SOLUTION," 11/03/2000) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori told reporters on November 2 that he does not plan to meet with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il for now. Mori stated, "We will continue the talks at the ambassadorial working-level for the time being. We may raise the talks to the political level when the time is right. However, now is not the time to discuss my involvement in the talks."

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2. Mori's Statement on DPRK Abduction Issue

The Asahi Shimbun ("MORI SAYS THAT HE STILL SEES HIS PROPOSAL AS OPTION FOR SOLUTION," 11/03/2000) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori told reporters on November 2 that he would not exclude his proposal of the DPRK pretending to have found missing Japanese in a third country from options for solving the abduction issue between Japan and the DPRK. Mori stated, "It is unnecessary to say whether the proposal is no longer an option. We don't have many options."

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3. Pro-DPRK Korean-Japanese Visit to ROK

The Yomiuri Shimbun ("CHONGRYON, RED CROSS AGREE ON 2ND ROK VISIT, " 10/31/2000) reported that officials of the pro-DPRK General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) said on October 31 that they had agreed with the ROK Red Cross Society on a plan to take association members to the ROK on a six-day tour starting November 17. They will be the second Chongryon group to visit the ROK. The visit precedes a second-phase plan by the governments of the two Koreas to allow a limited number of pro-DPRK residents to visit their relatives in the ROK, which originally was scheduled to start on November 2, but was delayed until November 30 because of the DPRK's request for more preparation time. The Chongryon group will be headed by Che Byong-jo, a former vice chairman of the association. A total of 120 people will take part in the tour, including 106 first-generation residents in Japan, along with 10 attendants and four news reporters connected with Chongryon, the officials said. The number of participants is nearly double the 64 who traveled to the ROK in the previous visit.

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4. Japanese-Russian Territorial Issue

The Yomiuri Shimbun ("MORI, PUTIN TO HOLD TALKS ON NOVEMBER 15," Moscow, 11/03/2000) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on November 2 that Putin will hold summit talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori on November 15 in Brunei on the sidelines of a two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to discuss the territorial issue between the two countries. Kono stated, "It is imperative that both nations make efforts to promptly work out new measures to expedite the progress of a bilateral committee that is studying ways to draw up boundaries concerning the four islands in the northern territories." Kono handed Putin a personal letter from Mori that said the prime minister wished to hold frank discussions with Putin based on the 1997 Krasnoyarsk Agreement, which requires the two nations to make efforts to conclude the peace accord by the end of this year after settling the territorial dispute.

The Sankei Shimbun (PRIME MINISTER DECIDES THAT HIS VISIT TO RUSSIA IS IMPOSSIBLE THIS YEAR," 11/01/2000) reported that according to sources from the Japanese government and ruling party high-ranking officials on October 31, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori's planned visit to Russia this year is likely to be postponed because of the bleak prospect for reaching agreement on the territorial issue between the two governments. The report said that at the summit talks last September between Mori and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mori reiterated the delimitation proposal, while Putin proposed to conclude an "intermediary" peace agreement while continuing negotiations for a "full" peace agreement. The report also said that both sides held a vice ministerial working-level meeting on October 23 and agreed to specify a new measure to work toward a peace treaty and to realize Mori's visit to Russia within this year. However, according to a ruling-party high-ranking official, "There is no sign for any progress in the territorial issue," and this prospect led to the decision to postpone Mori's visit.

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5. Japanese-PRC Naval Visits

The Nikkei Shimbun ("JAPAN, PRC AGREED TO BEGIN NAVAL SHIP VISIT EXCHANGE NEXT YEAR," 11/03/2000) and the Japan Times ("JAPAN, CHINA AGREE TO WARSHIP VISITS AS BILATERAL SECURITY EXCHANGE STEP," 11/03/2000) reported that Japan and the PRC agreed on November 2 to begin exchanges of naval ship visits next year. The agreement was made during the meetings between the PRC's People's Liberation Army Deputy Chief of the General Staff Xiong Guangkai and Japanese Administrative Vice Defense Minister Ken Sato and Japanese Defense Agency Director General Kazuo Torashima in Tokyo. The reports said that Xiong suggested to Sato that PRC vessels first visit Japan next year and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force ships visit the PRC the following year, and that Sato agreed to Xiong's suggestion. Xiong also met with Torashima and both agreed that the two countries should begin the naval exchanges as soon as possible in a way that is supported by the people of both countries.

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6. Japanese-US Military Exercises

The Japan Times ("EXERCISES LAUNCED," 11/03/2000) reported that Japan and the US launched large-scale military maneuvers on November 2 in and around Japan for a 17-day exercise, which the Japanese Defense Agency (JDA) said is designed to test the readiness of the two allies for emergencies in areas surrounding Japan. The exercise involves 21,000 service members from the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) and the US military stationed in Japan. About 20 warships and some 310 military aircraft will be used in the drills, staged for the first time under new legislation that Japan enacted last summer on military cooperation between the two countries. JDA said that the exercise is being held "without any specific country or region, such as the Korean Peninsula, in mind." JDA also said that the drills would focus on the joint combat capability of the two forces in the event of an attack on Japan and on search-and-rescue operations at sea. It will also involve the simulated rescue of Japanese trapped overseas. The two forces plan to hold joint search-and-rescue maneuvers in the Sea of Japan off Kyushu and in the Pacific off Shikoku in a simulated rescue of US warplane crew members. US and Japanese military plan to use the US Marine base in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, to simulate "a foreign airport caught in a military conflict" and to airlift stranded Japanese to safety. The report added that a similar rescue operation by naval ships is also planned at Sasebo base in Nagasaki Prefecture. In Tokyo, JSDF personnel will be mobilized, for the first time ever, to simulate the rescue of U.S. service members from Yokota Air Base on the premise that the facility has been the target of a bomb attack.

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7. Comfort Women Issue

The Japan Times ("CABINET CONTRIBUTES TO 'COMFORT WOMEN' FUND," 11/03/2000) reported that newly-appointed Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda announced on November 2 that Japanese Cabinet ministers will contribute 100,000 yen each to a semipublic fund set up to pay compensation to wartime "comfort women" from other parts of Asia. Fukuda said that he requested the "voluntary based" donation during a Cabinet meeting earlier in the day, to help the Asian Women's Fund raise necessary funds to cope with the increasing number of applicants. According to Fukuda, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori will donate 150,000 yen, and 16 other Cabinet members were asked to contribute 100,000 yen each. He added, however, that the remaining two Upper House members elected in the proportional representation system are prohibited from making such donations under the Public Offices Election Law. The fund was launched in 1995 and has collected donations and paid out 340 million yen to 170 people who claimed they were eligible. The report also said that at present, there are some 160 potential applicants. The report added that Japan has rejected demands for official compensation, claiming the wartime compensation issue has been already settled at the state level.

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8. Japanese Nuclear Disarmament Policy

The Japan Times (Kyodo, "UN COMMITTEE ADOPTS JAPANESE NUCLEAR DRAFT," New York, 11/03/2000) reported that a key UN General Assembly committee adopted on November 1 a Japanese draft resolution to set a plan for dismantling the world's nuclear arsenal. The resolution, which sets 2003 as the deadline for ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), was approved by 144 countries represented in the Committee of Disarmament and International Security. Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono stated on November 2, "I highly praise the adoption of the resolution, as it reflects a more concrete UN commitment to nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation than the review meetings on the current Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty." The report also said that India was the only country that voted against the draft, while 12 countries, including the PRC, Russia, Pakistan and the DPRK, abstained.

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Timothy L. Savage:
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Gee Gee Wong:
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Robert Brown:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun:
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Hiroyasu Akutsu:
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Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
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