NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, october 17, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan IV. Russian Federation

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I. United States

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1. US on DPRK-ROK Relations

The Washington Post ("BUSH WARNS N. KOREA AGAINST THREATS," Washington, 10/17/01) reported that US President George W. Bush warned the DPRK not to try to take advantage of the US battle against terrorism by moving against US ally ROK. Bush said in an interview with Asian editors, "North Korea should not in any way, shape or form think that because we happened to be engaged in Afghanistan we will not be prepared and ready to fulfill our end of our agreement with the South Korean government. They should not use this as an opportunity to threaten our close friend and ally, South Korea. Not only will we have troops there and have them there, we will be prepared to defend and stand side-by-side with our longtime friend, the South Korean people." Bush said the DPRK leaders should keep their agreement to open talks with the ROK government. He added, "I must tell you that I've been disappointed in Kim Jong Il not rising to the occasion, being so suspicious, so secretive."

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2. US Sanctions Against PRC

The Washington Post (Steven Mufson and Philip P. Pan, "US MAY WAIVE CHINA SANCTIONS," 10/17/01) reported that US government sources said on October 16 that the US Bush administration, seeking to promote exchanges of anti-terrorist intelligence with the PRC, is considering a waiver on sanctions that bar the sale of military-related equipment to PRC security forces imposed after the 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen Square demonstrators. Admiral Dennis Blair, commander of US forces in the Pacific, said, "We don't have existing mechanisms" for exchanging information. He added, "The events of earlier this year put us at loggerheads, for there is a further distance to travel" than with some other countries. Blair said that although the two nations were exchanging information, cooperation against terrorism "hasn't gotten down to the tactical level yet." The run-up to the APEC meeting - which will include talks on October 19 between Bush and PRC President Jiang Zemin - underscores the degree to which the administration's policy toward the PRC has changed after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US. When Bush and Jiang meet on the sidelines of the APEC summit, the highlights are expected to include a reiteration by Bush of US support for a "one China" policy. It is also expected to include a joint statement on terrorism and PRC agreement to a US request to open an FBI office in Beijing. However, US administration officials said key obstacles remain in bilateral relations, including human rights and US allegations that PRC firms have sold sensitive missile technology to Pakistan and other countries in violation of an agreement reached by the Clinton administration in November. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for October 17, 2001.]

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3. APEC Statement on Terrorism

Reuters (Jeremy Page, "CHINA SAYS APEC REACHES CONSENSUS ON TERRORISM," Shanghai, 10/17/01) reported that the PRC said on Wednesday that Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members meeting in Shanghai had reached a consensus on a statement condemning terrorism but details still had to be discussed by APEC leaders. PRC's APEC spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said, "I believe at this session of the economic leaders' informal meeting a statement on this issue will be issued. There have been consultations on the content of the statement. I think that some consensus has already been reached." A draft of the statement seen by Reuters made no mention of the US-led attacks on Afghanistan or of Osama bin Laden. Zhang declined to give details of the content or wording of the statement, saying they still had to be discussed by APEC leaders. She said, "The main content of the statement will state that the members are committed to the fight against international terrorism."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Follow-up of ROK-Japan Summit

The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin, "SEOUL MOVING TO NORMALIZE TIES WITH TOKYO AFTER SUMMIT," Seoul, 10/17/01) reported that following up on the Korea-Japan summit talks, ROK officials said October 16 that the ROK is considering resuming military exchanges and market openings to Japanese culture and arts products, which were suspended in July in protest against Tokyo's refusal to revise controversial history textbooks. The officials also said that the ROK and Japan will also launch working-level negotiations to resolve pending issues such as historical distortions in Japanese textbooks, Tokyo's move to ban ROK's fishing rights near the Southern Kuril islands and preparation for the 2002 World Cup soccer finals which will be co-hosted by the two nations. ROK President Kim Dae-jung October 16 instructed the government to take follow-up measures on his summit with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi held in Seoul October 15. Kim said the summit talks should serve as a new starting point for ties between the two nations.

III. Japan

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1. Public Opinion on Logistic Support for US

The Asahi Shimbun ("POLL: 51% BACK LEGISLATION TO FIGHT TERROR," Tokyo, 10/16/01) reported that 51 percent of respondents to the nationwide telephone poll supported a bill now before the Diet that would allow Japan to support US forces, while 29 percent opposed it. Opinion was split, however, over the US-led bombing campaign on Afghanistan, with 46 percent supporting US action and 43 percent opposing it. Asked what effect they thought the bombing would have in eradicating terrorism, 49 percent of the respondents said the retaliatory strikes would not be effective, compared to 36 percent who said the attacks would be effective. Support for the overseas deployment of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), in keeping with the provision of the bill, was lower. While 49 percent of the respondents favored the expansion of the SDF's overseas role, 40 percent were opposed. At 48 percent, the number of respondents who favored loosening of weapons use restrictions for SDF personnel outnumbered those opposed. Pollsters phoned 3,651 households where at least one registered voter lived, receiving valid responses from 2,091 individuals.

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2. Revision of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) Law

The Asahi Shimbun ("SDF BILL TO PUNISH LEAKERS OF INFORMATION," Tokyo, 10/16/01) reported that the bill to revise the SDF Law includes parts of controversial 1985 bill aimed at plugging information leaks and imprisoning those convicted of releasing defense secrets. The SDF Law amendment bill, currently being deliberated in the Diet, stipulates defense secrets as "any information that the Defense Agency director-general regards as needing protection." The bill stipulates stiff penalties for both SDF personnel and civilians found guilty of leaking such information. Politicians, civil servants, defense-related industry employees and journalists would be punished for "leakage" or "instigation of leaks." Those accuse of leaking information face maximum five-year prison terms, while acts of "instigation" are subject to imprisonment for less than three years. A list of the bill identifies 10 categories of defense secret, ranging from "utilization of SDF" to "design of facilities." The revision bill does not mention "diplomatic secrets" or provisions on collecting information for the purpose of passing it on to another.

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3. Salvage of Ehime Maru

The Asahi Shimbun ("EHIME MARU MOVED TO SHALLOWER WATERS, Honolulu, 10/16/01) reported that the sunken fisheries training vessel Ehime Maru was towed to shallow waters October 14 in preparation for the grim search for the remains of missing students and crew members. A surface ship will be anchored above the wreckage and divers will remove debris and cables used to lift the Ehime Maru off the seabed before the search for the remains and personal effects of those missing gets under way. The search, which sources said may begin as early as October 16, is expected to last about a month.

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4. Japanese Logistic Support for US

The Asahi Shimbun ("COMMITTEE PASSES ANTI-TERROR BILL," Tokyo, 10/17/01) reported that the ruling coalition pushed the bill through a special committee October 16 and agreed to seek passage in the Lower House on October 18, after the Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) leader Yukio Hatoyama broke off negotiations the night of October 15. Prior to the vote on the bill in the special committee, the coalition introduced an amendment requiring Diet approval within the 20 days of a Self-Defense Forces (SDF) overseas deployment. In explaining why the ruling coalition was introducing the amendment, the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) Fumio Kyuma said, "We want to gain the understanding and support of a wider spectrum of the populace while maintaining the fundamental thinking and framework of the original bill." Kyuma also said the decision to require the after-the-fact Diet approval was based on the argument that the Diet must have some involvement in any move to deploy the SDF. The amendments also prohibit the SDF from transporting weapons and ammunition overland through a foreign nation in support of the US-led campaign against terrorists. This amendment was introduced due both to a lack of experience in such operations and to fears of strong public opposition. Minshuto vehemently opposed the ruling coalition's original plan to pass the bill through the Lower House on Tuesday, but offered little objection to a subsequent plan to put the bill to a vote Thursday. Minshuto had prepared an amendment of its own to require prior Diet approval before the oversea SDF deployment. It was on the issue that Koizumi and Hatoyama failed to reach agreement Monday night. The amendment failed to pass. After the Lower House, the bill will next go to the Upper House for deliberation.

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5. Self-Defense Forces' Weapons Use

The Asahi Shimbun ("WEAPONS USE POLICY FORMALLY EXPLAINED," Tokyo, 10/17/01) reported that the government has issued its official rationale for more liberal guidelines on the use of weapons by the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) troops in legislation before the Diet to support the US-led fight against terrorism. In short, the government asserts, SDF members who use weapons to protect themselves or to protect people under their care are defenders, not aggressors. Article 11 of the anti-terrorism special measures bill stipulates that individuals who may face dangers similar to those faced by SDF personnel and who will be expected to follow the orders of SDF members when danger does arise should be protected through the use of weapons. Such individuals could include people who are in the same vicinity as SDF personnel, such as in housing, medical clinics and vehicles where SDF members are conducting such operations as maintaining order and managing safety. Such a protection is regarded as an exercise of the fundamental right to self-preservation and justified from a humanitarian standpoint.

IV. Russian Federation

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1. PRC Response to US Strikes against Afghanistan

The Izvestia ("LAST EVENTS", Moscow, 10/11/01) reported that the PRC closed its border with Afghanistan in connection to US missile bomb strikes

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2. Japanese-PRC Relations

Nezavisimaya Gazeta ("CHINA-JAPAN", Moscow, 10/09/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited the PRC to discuss the bilateral relations and the situation concerning Afghanistan. Upon leaving for PRC he told media that Japan fully supported US strikes and was in a state of readiness to combat terrorists. The PRC had expressed its concern about Japanese intention to join the retaliation action and pointed at Japanese militarist past.

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3. Japanese-ROK Relations

Nezavisimaya Gazeta ("TOKYO SAID SORRY TO SEOUL", Moscow, 10/16/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi arrived in Seoul officially asked ROK for pardon for suffering caused by its 35 years of Japanese colonial rule in Korea.

4. RF Scholars on Korean War Blank Spots

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye ("THE LONG ECHO OF THE KOREAN WAR", Moscow, 10/12-18/01, #38) published an article by Aleksandr Orlov and Viktor Gavrilov on the details and some yet unclear aspects of the time preceding the Korean War. In particular, the authors claim it was DPRK leader Kim Il-sung who actually assured the leaders of USSR and the PRC of a quick victory and received their approval to launch a massive attack on the ROK. On the other hand, it said that ROK leader Syn Man Rhee used to threaten to liberate DPRK by force and there were border skirmishes. Most interestingly, the authors claim it seems that the US was, in fact, interested in seeing the DPRK attack first so that it can be branded as the aggressor and receive US retaliation. They said that the USSR was not interested in a war, seeing DPRK as a buffer state. The majority of ROK population was against Syn Man Rhee and US presence and that implied the danger of future peaceful unification under Communists. Former US Secretary of State Dean Acheson on January 12, 1955, publicly excluded the ROK from US defense perimeter, giving in his own words later, the "green light for attack against South Korea." At the same time few knew about US NSC directive 68 of March 1950 ordering "containment of Communism." Officially, the US Far Eastern Command had no plans for such emergency, but the authors said they doubted that, as the US Air Force rebuff was very prompt and there were plans for evacuation of US civilian personnel. The authors noted that US President Harry Truman delayed military supplies to ROK army. On the eve of DPRK attack, ROK land forces commander revoked the state of high combat readiness. They also said that a UN Security Council resolution condemning DPRK was adopted on the day of the attack, because was drafted by US State department beforehand. US military response came as a total surprise to USSR, the PRC and the DPRK. At the same time US administration, trying to keep the war local, hid the fact of Soviet military involvement from US public.

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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
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China
International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan
Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Gee Gee Wong:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi:
Tokyo, Japan

Rumiko Seya:
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Yunxia Cao:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

John McKay:
Clayton, Australia

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