NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, may 10, 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. Hong Kong Crackdown

Reuters (Carrie Lee, "HONG KONG GOVERNMENT CHARGES PROTESTERS IN LANDMARK CASE," Hong Kong, 05/10/02) reported that Hong Kong has charged three political protesters with organizing an unauthorized rally, the first such prosecutions since the territory returned to the PRC. Some political commentators see the move as evidence that Hong Kong's government is strengthening its hand as the fifth anniversary of the territory's handover to the PRC approaches. "This is a retrogressive move in democratization," said Sunny Lo, Associate Professor at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Hong Kong. The charges could trigger a new legal battle over the constitutionality of the Public Order Ordinance, which requires protesters to seek prior police approval. Hong Kong's Basic Law, the 50-year mini-constitution enacted in 1997, guarantees the right to peaceful assembly, procession and demonstration in the territory. Habitual demonstrator Leung Kwok-hung, 46, and student activist Fung Ka-keung, 23, were this week arrested at their homes and charged with organising an unauthorised public assembly and assisting in organising one, respectively, police said. Lo Wai-ming, a student activist aged 27, reported to police at their request and was charged with the same offence as Fung. The charges are the first ever brought under the Public Order Ordinance despite dozens of protests for which police received no prior notice, according to legal observers. The Basic Law contains an article requiring Hong Kong to enact laws to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against Beijing. The local government has been considering the issue but has not yet enacted such laws.

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2. PRC-Japan DPRK Refugees

Agence France-Presse ("VIDEO EVIDENCE COMPLICATES JAPAN-CHINA ROW OVER NORTH KOREANS," 05/10/02), Agence France-Presse ("JAPAN ADMITS FIVE NORTH KOREANS ENTERED CONSULATE, NOT TWO," 05/10/02) 05/10/02) and Agence France-Presse ("JAPAN'S 'HONOUR AND DIGNITY' DAMAGED BY CHINA CONSULATE INTRUSION," 05/10/02) reported that a diplomatic row between Japan and the PRC grew more complicated after video footage showed five, and not two, DPRK citizens were seized from Japan's consulate in the PRC after an intrusion by police. Amid charges that the PRC's actions constituted a violation of international law and damaged Japan's "honour and dignity," officials admitted on Friday that earlier accounts of events were inaccurate after the footage showed all five DPRK citizens were dragged out with little inteference from consular staff. The government said it would immediately dispatch a senior official to the PRC to investigate the unauthorised intrusion by PRC guards into the consulate, which is sovereign Japanese territory, in Shenyang, northeast China. "As far as we could see from the video ... we recognize five North Koreans, not two, entered," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda, conceding the point after footage shown on major Japanese television networks. The footage showed two men gaining entry, and then later being dragged out by the PRC guards - as reported earlier - but also two women, one with a young girl on her back. The women were wrestled to the ground inside the compound gates and dragged out by three PRC guards as the toddler screamed. Moments later, three men in shirt sleeves, presumed to be Japanese consular staff, appear from the direction of the consulate building. One of them picks up the PRC guards' hats and dusts them off before handing them back, but none makes any attempt to intervene. Japanese ambassador Koreshige Anami expressed, "The fact that armed police entered the compound without the consent of the Japanese side itself constitutes a violation of international law. Just imagine what the Chinese reaction would be if another nation just entered the compound of a Chinese consulate general somewhere in the world, for some reason. This is a matter of principle and pride. The honour and dignity of the Japanese nation has been damaged."

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3. ROK Domestic Politics

Reuters ("KOREA CANDIDATE LEE VOWS TO END KOREA 'NIGHTMARE,'" Seoul, 05/10/02) reported that former prime minister Lee Hoi-chang chosen on Friday as presidential candidate for the ROK's main opposition party vowed to lead the cleanest government in history if elected in December. Lee launched his anti- corruption platform days after President Kim Dae-jung apologised for controversies involving his sons and resigned from the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP). Kim's five-year term expires in February 2003 and he is barred by the constitution from running for a second term. But he has come under fire from opposition parties who accuse his aides and relatives of abuses of power. Lee, the Grand National Party candidate, said in a televised address that the past four years of Kim's presidency had been a "nightmare." "Being governed by the corrupt and incapable once is enough," Lee, 66, said in a hoarse voice before a crowd of hundreds of cheering party faithful as he accepted his nomination. "I will do my best to come up with the cleanest government in our history."

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4. Taiwan Missile Tests

Agence France-Presse ("TAIWAN FLEXES MUSCLE IN MILITARY EXERCISE AMID CALL FOR PEACE WITH CHINA," 05/10/02) reported that the Taiwanese army fired four missiles at targets in a military exercise amid calls from President Chen Shui- bian for rapprochement with the PRC. The army first launched a US-made Hawk surface-to-air missile which successfully intercepted a target towed by a drone, or an unnamed aircraft, off this southern military base on Friday. Two other Hawks and a locally made Tienkung II were also launched to separately destroy three other targets some 25 kilometers (15 miles), 35 kilometers (21 miles), and 90 kilometers (54 miles) away. "The scenario of the drill was that a fleet of enemy aircraft invaded Taiwan at different altitudes," a military commander said. Chen was at the site to witness the drill, which is part of Taiwan's biggest military exercise Han Kuang 18 (Han Glory). He urged the PRC to stop the arms race while hailing the units involved in the drill.

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5. US Defense Spending

The Associated Press (Jennifer Loven, "DEFENSE SPENDING BILL PASSES HOUSE," Washington, 05/10/02) reported that hours after the House authorized US$383 billion in national security spending for 2003, with the most largest boost in decades, an artillery system the Pentagon no longer wants and missile defense emerged as potential battlegrounds that could slow passage of a final bill. The House vote early Friday was 359-58 for its version of the bill, shortly after the Senate Armed Services Committee approved its own, US$393 billion version. The House planned to pass a separate US$10 billion measure later containing contingency money the Bush administration sought for the war on terrorism. That was included in the Senate bill. Both versions contain US$475 million for the Army to continue developing the US$11 billion Crusader cannon. But the House went further and included nonbinding language telling the Pentagon not to kill it before producing a study on the alternatives. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who had long championed the program, announced Wednesday that he wants to dump the new gun in favor of more futuristic technologies like precision-guided bombing. As for missile defense, the Senate version includes nearly US$1 billion less than Bush requested. At $393 billion, the bills would provide an increase of about US$50 billion, or 15 percent, over what Congress authorized for 2002.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Arirang Festival in DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, "'GLAD TO MEET YOU,' ARIRANG SINGS, BUT FOREIGNERS ARE FEW," Pyongyang, 05/10/02) reported that more than 100,000 students and citizens of the DPRK were busy at the May 1 Stadium Monday, preparing their performance for the Arirang Festival, a two- month extravaganza of mass gymnastics and the arts designed to attract foreign tourists. The performance started at 8 pm with a popular DPRK song, "Glad to Meet You," gushing from the loudspeakers. Spectators praised the highly artistic level of the mass gymnastics performed by 40,000 students. Some performances, such as the "Star of Joseon," which gave an account of the life of the late DPRK leader Kim Il-sung, drew political controversy by featuring the flag of the DPRK.

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2. DPRK Asylum Seekers

Joongang Ilbo (You Sang-chul, "JAPAN PROTESTS TO CHINA, 3RD FUGITIAVE IN US MISSION," Seoul, 05/10/02) reported that a major diplomatic row loomed Thursday after Japan protested the entry by PRC police and forcible capture of two DPRK asylum-seekers in its mission in Shenyang. Five DPRK defectors tried Wednesday to enter the Japanese Consulate in Shenyang, but reportedly three were blocked by PRC guards at the gate. Two were able to enter the mission's compound, but were dragged out by the policemen, eyewitnesses said. All five were in PRC custody Thursday afternoon. "It is a violation of the Vienna Convention," Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said. Japan's deputy foreign minister, Yukio Takeuchi, summoned PRC's ambassador in Tokyo, Wu Dawei, to complain of the intrusion.

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3. ROK Intelligence Silencing?

Joongang Ilbo ("DEAL TO CUT US TRIP BY DEFECTOR ALLEGED," Seoul, 05/10/02) reported that Hwang Jang-yop, the highest-profile defector ever from DPRK, has agreed to decline an invitation to testify before the US Congress in Washington, in return for 300 million won (US$235,400) pledged by the ROK. The daily said ROK's National Intelligence Service played on Hwang's determination to complete his life's study of Juche -- the ideological foundation of the DPRK regime. The intelligence agency promised to pay for an institute to study the ideology, the newspaper said. The pledge was contained in a formal agreement dated January 13 and reviewed by its reporters, the paper said. The intelligence agency denied that it had made any deal with Hwang, the newspaper said.

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4. Korea-Japan World Cup

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Seung-bum, "VISA FREE ENTRY TO JAPAN STARTS MAY 15," 05/10/02) reported that the ROK Ministry of Justice announced Thursday that from May 15 to July 15, Koreans traveling to Japan will be able to get a 30 day visa on entry and not have to pre-apply for one at the Japanese embassy in Seoul. However, visas are required for those going on business or staying longer than the 30 days. Currently, Japanese tourists visiting ROK are allowed to enter the country without a visa for 30 days. In addition, a pre-entrance inspection system will be temporarily implemented where one receives entrance inspection beforehand at the departure point. Upon arrival, there is only a simple identity check before entering the country. For this system, both countries have each dispatched 14 immigration control inspectors to each other's ports. ROK and Japan are hoping this will reduce queues and long waits anticipated from the increased number of travelers during the World Cup period.

III. Japan

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1. Overseas A-Bomb Survivors

Kyodo ("NORTH KOREA ASKS JAPAN TO FUND A-BOMB HEALTH FACILITY," Pyongyang, 05/05/02) reported that a DPRK group representing survivors of the 1945 US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki said last Saturday it will ask Japan for help to build a hospital to treat them. Jon Jong Hyok, secretary general of the Korean Atomic Bomb Victims Association for Anti-Nuclear Peace, told Kyodo News the association will ask Japan to help set up a hospital in DPRK to treat Koreans who were in the cities in August 1945. Jon also said the organization will urge Japan to provide Korean victims with the same assistance that Japanese survivors receive under Japanese law, establish a memorial monument for Koreans killed in the attacks and release related documents. It also wants a public apology from Japanese government for forcibly taking people from its colony on the Korean Peninsula to perform labor in Japan. Asked about a Japanese government plan to help survivors in the DPRK receive treatment in Japan, Jon said Japan had similar measures for survivors in the ROK, but they had not produced significant results.

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2. Japanese Defense White Paper Draft

The Japan Times ("DEFENSE AGENCY SEEKS UPGRADE," Tokyo, 05/06/02) reported that the Japanese Defense Agency has for the first time clearly stipulated its desire to be upgraded into a full-fledged ministry. The agency makes the statement in its annual report on Japan's defense, to be issued in July, according to a copy of the document obtained by Kyodo News. "It is important to establish a ministry as an administrative organization in charge of national defense, as the importance of defense is increasing in national politics," the document says. "We, the Defense Agency, hope for the enactment of a law on establishing a Defense Ministry at an early stage." Unlike other full-fledged government departments, the Defense Agency is an organization under the Cabinet Office headed by the Prime Minister. The agency head cannot submit bills or personnel changes independently to the Cabinet for approval.

The Asahi Shimbun ("AGENCY IN BATTLE OVER CIVILIAN DEFENSE ROLE," Tokyo, 05/08/02) reported that a confrontation is brewing between Japanese Defense Agency bureaucrats who want a say in the civilian control of the military and uniformed Self-Defense Forces (SDF) officers, according to documents obtained by The Asahi Shimbun. The documents show a difference of opinions between the officers and the bureaucrats in a debate over a draft of the annual defense white paper. The bureaucracy is apparently concerned that military officers have increased their influence in the agency's decision-making process through their role in planning Japan's support for the US-led war on terrorism and dealing with the incursion of a suspicious vessel last December. Officers of the three arms of the SDF, on the other hand, criticized the draft's description of the vice minister of the agency and the defense counselor as aides to the director-general. The officers felt such an arrangement would be both redundant and misleading, according to the documents.


3. Japanese Security Legislation

The Asahi Shimbun ("MILITARY EMERGENCY DEBATE FUZZY ON CIVIL DEFENSE ROLE," Tokyo, 05/10/02) reported that discussion of Japanese military emergency legislation Thursday dwelt on defensive situations in which an enemy "initiates an attack," even before the nation is hit. On just what the government has in mind for civilian involvement and protection remains unclear. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda, the government spokesman, has offered little beyond a "we're working on it" response. Responding to Kiichi Inoue, a New Conservative Party legislator, on pre- emptive action by the Self-Defense Forces, Fukuda said, "Specifically speaking, it's not after a missile hits the homeland, but when the enemy initiates a military attack." That is essentially the same line the government has taken since 1956, justifying an attack on missile launch sites to prevent missile strikes as being within the legal bounds of self defense. Legislators on both sides of the aisle struggled to pull commitments and detailed responses from the government. In many cases, though, the response was, "We'll start reviewing that," a far cry from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's objective of having debate that citizens easily understand.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:

Ilmin Internationl Relations Institute
BK21 The Education and Research Corps for East Asian Studies
Department of Political Science, Korea University, 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

Brandon Yu:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Young-soo:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi:
Tokyo, Japan

Saiko Iwata:
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

John McKay:
Clayton, Australia

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