NAPSNet Daily Report
, june , 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. PRC-US Military Ties

Agence France ("US TO SEND ENVOY TO CHINA TO BOOST MILITARY TIES," 05/03/02) reported that the US is sending a high-ranking envoy to the PRC to improve relations with its military. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Peter Rodman will travel to Beijing in the middle of June "to talk about the principles on which we can get a military-to-military relationship on a more solid framework which will be of mutual benefit," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said in remarks released Sunday by the Pentagon. According to US defense officials, the exact date of Rodman's departure will be kept confidential for some time under new security guidelines introduced in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. But Wolfowitz made clear that the US was anxious to improve regional security cooperation with the PRC now that the events of September 11 have dramatically reshaped US strategic priorities. "We're very interested in bringing China into the mainstream of the Pacific region," he told British-owned Phoenix Television. "We believe that China has a major, important, constructive role to play." Contacts between the US and PRC militaries have been severely curtailed in the aftermath of the April US EP-3 electronic surveillance plane collision with a PRC interceptor jet over the South China Sea.

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2. PRC Domestic Politics

Reuters ("CHINA 'DETAINS DISSIDENTS AHEAD OF TIANANMEN ANNIVERSARY,'" Hong Kong, 06/03/02) and Agence France-Presse ("JIANG FIRMS UP POLITICAL AUTHORITY AHEAD OF TIANANMEN ANNIVERSARY," 06/02/02) reported that the PRC has detained at least two democracy campaigners as the government tightens security in the run-up to the 13th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, a Hong Kong human rights group said on Sunday. The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said. In a statement, the group said police took away democracy campaigners Hua Huiqi and Liu Fenggang, as well as Liu's wife and his two-year-old son, on June 1. Their situation was unknown, but police had told relatives of the detained that they would be released after about five days. The information center said it believed the two dissidents were kept in a guest house and expected more democracy campaigners to be put under house arrest ahead of June 4. There was no immediate comment from PRC officials on the report.

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3. Japan Domestic Politics

Agence France-Presse ("PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR JAPANESE PREMIER WANES: POLL," 06/03/02) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who once commanded strong public support for his cabinet, has been unable to overturn the sagging approval rate, a new poll has shown. A survey by the Mainichi Shimbun published on Monday found the cabinet approval rate had edged down to 40 percent in May, the lowest since Koizumi took office in April 2001, from 42 percent in an April survey. It was a staggering fall from the 87-percent approval rate, the highest, in May 2001, in the Mainichi survey. Meanwhile, the disapproval rate hardly changed in the latest poll, standing at 40 percent, against 39 percent in April. Among the disapproving voters, some 50 percent said Koizumi did too little to revive the economy, the Mainichi said. The daily conducted a phone interview during the weekend and received 1,054 responses.

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4. US on Nuclear Weapons

The Associated Press (Alexa Olesen, "NUCLEAR WEAPONS CONCERN WOLFOWITZ," Singapore, 06/02/02) reported that US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said Sunday that the prospect of terrorists developing nuclear capabilities is "more frightening and dangerous" than nuclear proliferation among nation states. At a regional security conference in Singapore, Wolfowitz said the concern that "nuclear weapons or scientists with nuclear expertise (could) fall into the hands of rogue regimes or terrorist groups is a very, very real one." Robert Einhorn, a former assistant secretary of state and a nuclear proliferation expert, said Southeast Asian ports in particular need to beef up security to help stem nuclear proliferation. "Governments should put in place strong shipment and transshipment controls to reduce the likelihood that their countries will become conduits for the ingredients of weapons of mass destruction programs worldwide," Einhorn said.

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5. Russia's Response to Japan Nuclear Readiness

The Associated Press ("RUSSIA ALARMED BY REPORTS JAPAN READY TO BUILD NUCLEAR WEAPONS," Moscow, 06/02/02) reported that Russia's Foreign Ministry expressed concern Sunday about a Japanese official's reported suggestion that Japan should be able to have nuclear weapons. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said last week that Japan's war-renouncing Constitution should not prevent it from having nuclear arms for self-defense, Kyodo News reported. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said Sunday that Fukuda's statement "prompts an understandable concern." "Japan - a huge world power, and the only victim of atomic bombs - has always been in the forefront of support for nuclear disarmament," Yakovenko said in a statement. "Now as the leading nuclear powers are making steps toward reducing their nuclear potential, such announcements by Japanese officials do not encourage the strengthening of the nonproliferation regime, and appear an anachronism," he said.

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6. Japan Nuclear Readiness

The Associated Press ("KOIZUMI UNDER RENEWED PRESSURE FOR REPORTS OF SWITCH ON JAPAN'S NON-NUCLEAR POLICY," Tokyo, 06/03/02) and Reuters (Teruaki Ueno, "JAPAN EYES DAMAGE CONTROL OVER NUCLEAR REMARKS," Tokyo, 06/02/02) reported that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi came under attack Monday for reports that his administration was considering a change to Japan's long-standing policy of not building or possessing nuclear weapons. Protesters rallied in Hiroshima and opposition members called for the resignation of Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda, public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News agency reported. Fukuda reportedly said last Friday that Japan's war-renouncing Constitution should not prevent it from having nuclear arms for self-defense. Koizumi has repeatedly said his government stands by Japan's non-nuclear policy, and Fukuda has denied that he meant Japan was considering such a departure. Koizumi has backed his aide saying the remarks were misunderstood.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Japan's Nuclear Debate

Joongang Ilbo (Oh Young-hwan, Nahm Yoon-ho, "NUCLEAR POLICY STIRS UP JAPAN," Tokyo, 06/02/02) reported that political parties and civic groups raised an outcry Sunday over comments by Yasuo Fukuda, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, that seemed to encourage the country's nuclear armament. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party leadership criticized Fukuda for creating an international stir. Civic groups held a demonstration at the Peace Park in Hiroshima in protest of Fukuda's remarks. The cabinet chief told reporters Friday that it was possible for Japan to develop nuclear warheads, whose possession might be necessary for self-defense, he said. "Under the Japanese law, there is no reason to prevent Japan from arming itself with nuclear weapons," Fukuda said. "If public opinion agrees with nuclear armament, the denuclearization principle can be revised." Prime minister Junichiro Koizumi said that his cabinet would keep to its nonnuclear weapon principles.

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2. Telecomminication in DPRK

Joongang Ilbo ("TELECOM FIRMS PLAN A VISIT TO THE NORTH," Seoul, 06/03/02) reported that ROK telecommunications companies are planning a business trip to DPRK, industrial sources said. Mobile carriers including SK Telecom and telecommunications equipment manufacturers including Samsung Electronics will be part of the group led by the Ministry of Information and Communication, the sources said. Government officials will visit Pyongyang this month, the sources said. "As far as I know, the information ministry is discussing the schedule with Pyongyang," the sources said. "If they indeed visit Pyongyang, the two parties will talk about basic telecommunications issues." ROK government is pressing the visit in hopes of persuading DPRK to adopt the same mobile standard used in ROK.

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3. Air Force F-X Project

Joongang Ilbo ("INJUCTION ON F-X DENIED TO DASSAULT," Seoul, 06/01/02) reported that the Seoul District Court on Wednesday denied an injunction sought by the French aerospace company Dassault that would block the ROK government from proceeding with selection of the next generation fighter jet program. The court said it could not find legal grounds for eliminating the US company Boeing from bidding for the US$4.2 billion project, although the US contender's initial proposal failed to meet ROK's criteria. The court also said the National Defense Ministry had not submitted documents necessary for it to rule on the injunction. "The ruling is extremely disappointing," said Lee Byeong-ju, a lawyer representing the French firm. Dassault is reviewing whether to appeal the ruling and whether to proceed with the suit without an injunction, he said.

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4. US-DPRK Talks Restart

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Kyong-bok, "US-NK TO RESUME EXHUMATION OF WAR DEAD TALKS," Seoul, 06/03/02) reported that a diplomatic source said Saturday, the suspended US-DPRK meeting on exhumation of corpses of US soldiers killed during the Korean War is likely to resume on June 7 in Bangkok, Thailand, to discuss the schedule, location and cost for operations in 2002. The source said the resumption of the talks, five-months after the meeting broke off in January is not only a continuation of the humanitarian project between the US and DPRK, but also a progressive signal for the reopening talks as US special envoy for dialogue with DPRK, Jack Pritchard's Pyongyang visit is approaching. Jerry Jennings, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for prisoner of war and missing personnel affairs, and Major-general Park Im Su will lead the US and DPRK's delegations, respectively, to come up with a compromise agreement, as DPRK is demanding a raise in the US's share of the exhumation cost, while US wants to dig in North Hamkyung Province in addition to the agreed North and South Pyongan provinces.

III. Japan

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1. Japanese Nuclear Policy

The Japan Times ("EXPLAIN NUCLEAR REMARK: KYUMA," Tokyo, 06/03/02) and the Asahi Shimbun ("FUROR ERUPTS OVER NUKE COMMENT," Tokyo, 06/03/02) reported that a lot of legislators criticized remarks made by a top government official suggesting Japan could abandon its decades-long ban on nuclear weapons. Fumio Kyuma, a former Defense Agency chief, said that the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda should explain the remarks. Eisei Ito, a lawmaker of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the main opposition party, said the state of Japanese diplomacy could be called into question by the remarks. "We cannot continue debate on emergency laws with a government like this," Ito said on the NHK program.

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2. Misuse of Personal Data by SDF

The Japan Times ("LIST-KEEPING OFFICER FACES PUNISHMENT UNDER SDF LAW," Tokyo, 06/01/02) reported that a Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) lieutenant commander who allegedly compiled personal data on people requesting disclosure of agency information may be punished for violating the SDF law, Defense Agency chief Gen Nakatani said Friday. Nakatani, appearing before the House of Representatives Cabinet Committee, said the officer and other officials may be punished under the law for failing to protect agency secrets, in addition to receiving administrative penalties. Nakatani told the committee that the agency is now investigating whether the data should be considered confidential information that the officer obtained in the course of his official duties. They are also probing whether he divulged the information to people who have no right to it, and whether it was used for purposes other than those relevant to the officer's job.

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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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