NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, may 6 2003

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. US Response to Alleged DPRK Policy Shift

Agence France-Presse ("US DENIES SHIFT IN NORTH KOREA POLICY," Washington, 05/06/03) reported that the US said it had not shifted its DPRK policy, discounting a report it was now more concerned with stopping Pyongyang exporting nuclear material than on halting its weapons programs. The New York Times reported that President George W. Bush discussed such an approach with Australian Prime Minister John Howard at weekend talks at his Crawford, Texas ranch. "The President said the central worry is not what they've got, but where it goes," an unnamed administration official was quoted as saying. "He's very pragmatic about it, and the reality is that we probably won't know the extent of what they are producing. So the whole focus is to keep the plutonium from going further." White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters on Air Force One en route to a presidential event in Arkansas that US policy towards the DPRK remained consistent. "Our position remains the same, that the US, as well as the international community, is concerned about North Korea possessing nuclear weapons and transferring nuclear material to others," he said. The administration appears divided on whether the DPRK is pursuing nuclear weapons to use as a bargaining chip to extract concessions from the US or as a security guarantee for Kim Jong-Il's regime.

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2. DPRK on Drug Trafficking

BBC News ("NORTH KOREA DENIES DRUG TRAFFICKING," 05/06/03) reported that the DPRK has denied any involvement in a drug smuggling case in Australia. The DPRK's state news agency KCNA said the government was consistently opposed to drug smuggling and that the case was "orchestrated to do harm to [North Korea]." It was the the DPRK's first comment on the case since an official from the DPRK's ruling party was found on board a ship accused of bringing A$80m (US$50m) worth of heroin into Australia. Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer summoned the DPRK's ambassador to Australia and alleged that Pyongyang was involved in the incident. KCNA said the scandal over the Pong Su freighter was "part of Washington's moves to increase the international pressure on the DPRK." "We will closely watch how the case is dealt with and never tolerate any attempt to use the case for impairing the authority and dignity of the DPRK," KCNA added. About 30 DPRK who were on board the ship are facing trial in Melbourne over the incident. This is not the first time the DPRK has been accused of supplementing its failing economy by trafficking drugs. Japanese officials have repeatedly accused Pyongyang of bringing methamphetamines and other drugs into their country.

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3. PRC Submarine Victims

The New York Times (Erik Eckholm, "TWO TOP CHINESE OFFICIALS COMFORT FAMILIES OF SUBMARINE VICTIMS," Beijing, 05/06/03) and BBC News ("CHINA SUB FAMILIES CONSOLED," 05/06/03) reported that the PRC's leaders have taken the rare step of publicly consoling the families of those who died in a submarine accident last week. President Hu Jintao, and his predecessor and chief of the Central Military Commission, Jiang Zemin, were shown on state television in an emotional meeting with six relatives of the victims. Seventy submariners died off China's coast in the accident, which the country's official news agency initially attributed to "mechanical failure." But a state-owned newspaper said on Tuesday that the PRC military was investigating human error as a possible cause. It was the first fatal submarine accident that the PRC has publicly acknowledged, as well as one of its worst known military disasters. "I have a heavy heart that the 70 sailors aboard were killed. I could not sleep for many days," Jiang was quoted by an announcer as telling the sailors' families. He was reported to have looked pale and appeared to have tears in his eyes. Hu told the mourners that "their illustrious name will forever stay in our hearts." The two leaders were shown boarding the vessel, which showed no signs of damage, in the northern port of Dalian. Mystery surrounds the cause of the accident.

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4. ROK-US DPRK Summit

Agence France-Presse ("US, SOUTH KOREA TO REAFFIRM PEACEFUL SOLUTION TO NUCLEAR CRISIS AT SUMMIT," Seoul, 05/06/03) and the Associated Press (Sang-Huh Choe, "SOUTH KOREA LEADER, BUSH TO DISCUSS NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 05/06/03) reported that the ROK's President will fly to the US this weekend to tackle two of his toughest hurdles: resolving the DPRK nuclear threat and reducing his country's decades-old reliance on the US military. Roh Moo-hyun's weeklong trip, which begins Sunday, comes amid heightened tensions over North Korea suspected development of nuclear weapons and rising calls for the US to cut its troops in the ROK. Defusing the DPRK nuclear crisis will be the key topic of the May 14 White House summit between President Bush and Roh. The two leaders, both 56, are known for being plainspoken about their views on the government in Pyongyang. Ban Ki-moon, Roh's foreign affairs aide, said he expected a successful meeting, saying "the two leaders are of the same age and have the same pragmatic leadership style. The chemistry is right between the two."

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5. US on Non-Proliferation Treaty Enforcement

The Washington File ("TRANSCRIPT: NPT ENFORCEMENT MEASURES NEED TO BE STRENGTHENED, US OFFICIAL SAYS," Washington, 05/06/03) reported that a

a US representative to a preparatory meeting in advance of the 2005 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference called on all nations to refocus on the growing need for oversight and control of nuclear material and technology. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Semmel said that although the NPT has proven durable despite enormous changes in the international security environment over the past three decades -- and has done much to forestall the spread of nuclear weapons -- in recent years "a small number of parties are abusing the Treaty by flagrantly or in some cases secretly, pursuing nuclear programs." Semmel noted that "North Korea's nuclear weapons program and the provocative actions it has taken present a grave threat to the region and a serious challenge to the global nuclear nonproliferation regime." Although the US is doing its part to help find a diplomatic solution to this problem, he said, the solution must be multilateral in conception and execution, and that "North Korea's actions are not a bilateral issue between the US and North Korea." Semmel said that the parties who have signed and adhered to the Treaty must realize what is at stake, and not be misled into thinking that the spread of nuclear weapons will be stopped by export controls, or by an inability on the part of those seeking such weapons to deal with the technological complexities of the development process. Serious consideration and debate are needed, he said, to establish policies that will strengthen compliance. Among issues to consider, Semmel said, are such things as defining what constitutes a violation of Article II, "how sanctions could be used to positive effect," and the proper role of the United Nations Security Council. A sanction that could be used, he said, would be "a cutoff of assistance to the civil nuclear program of the guilty party."

The full transcript can be found:

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6. Fact Sheet on Moscow Non-Proliferation Treaty

The Washington File ("FACT SHEET: MOSCOW TREATY NUCLEAR CUTS TOPS LIST OF US NPT SUPPORT," Washington, 05/06/03) reported that the US Mission in Geneva has issued the following May 5 fact sheet on US policies and its actions in support of Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT):



-- Reductions under START Treaty {Strategic Arms Reductions) completed December 2001. Level went from 10,000 US strategic warheads to less than 6,000.

-- Moscow Treaty reduces to 1,700-2,200 by December 31, 2012 -- the lowest level in decades. Senate approved March 6.

-- US reductions have already begun. 50 Peacekeeper missiles to be deactivated in next two years. Two Trident missile submarines have been removed from strategic service; two more to follow.

-- Warheads removed from operational service will be stored, disabled and not available for quick redeployment, or retired/dismantled. Spares are needed if a warhead is found to be unreliable/unsafe.

-- Under START and Moscow Treaty, US will have eliminated or decommissioned more than three-quarters of its strategic nuclear warheads over two decades.

For the full fact sheet:

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7. PRC SARS Quarantine

The Associated Press (William Foreman, "WHO SAYS SARS STILL ON THE RISE IN CHINA," Beijing, 05/06/03), Reuters (John Ruwitch, "SARS YET TO PEAK IN CHINA, PATROLS OUT IN BEIJING," Beijing, 05/06/03) and BBC News ("CHINA STEPS UP SARS CURBS," 05/06/03) reported that the PRC has quarantined 10,000 people in the eastern city of Nanjing in a bid to contain the SARS outbreak which has claimed 214 lives in the country and infected 4,409 people. Eight deaths and 138 new cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome were announced on Tuesday. Four of the new deaths announced on Tuesday were in Beijing, where 563 more people were isolated, bringing the official total number of quarantined to more than 16,000. The authorities are enforcing the quarantine rigorously. Police sealed off the home town of three suspected carriers who escaped from the capital, ringing the area with road blocks in order to arrest the fugitives and anyone accompanying them. The fact that so many people have been quarantined in Nanjing, where there has been just one confirmed case of SARS, is also seen as an indication of just how far the authorities are prepared to go to suppress the disease. Meanwhile the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Gro Harlem Brundtland, has warned that the outbreak has yet to peak in the PRC. "There are still a considerable number of cases every day and in a number of provinces," she told European Union health ministers in Brussels. Riots have also been reported in rural parts of China where villagers apparently attacked buildings they learned were to be used as quarantine centers. The violence in Henan province happened last week, but news of it has only leaked out now. It would be at least the third attack on a quarantine facility in the last two weeks

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8. Japan PRC SARS Aid


Japan is ready to offer assistance to China to help it combat the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Tuesday. "We want to hear what is needed in China to counter the spread, and we are ready to offer what we can do to help," Koizumi told reporters at his official residence. Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Chikara Sakaguchi said separately that Koizumi ordered the health ministry to study specific measures to help China contain the SARS epidemic. "There has been no concrete request from China. But what we can do is help prevent its spread," Sakaguchi told a news conference, referring particularly to the need to prevent the disease from spreading in rural parts of China. On Tuesday, the ministry held its first meeting of prefectural health officials with the aim of reinforcing cooperation and exchanges of information on SARS between the central and local governments. However, during the meeting, there were complaints from representatives of some prefectures over the ministry's moves so far to counter the virus. A representative from Shizuoka Prefecture said the ministry should share SARS-related information via e-mail even before some of it is made public. The health ministry meanwhile issued an official advisory to the prefectures to immediately report any suspected cases of SARS. There have been no confirmed cases of SARS in Japan.

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9. Japan Cult Leader Death Grip

BBC News ("JAPAN CULT GURU 'CLOSE TO DEATH,'" 05/06/03) reported that the alleged leader of a mysterious Japanese cult has said that she will die in the next few days. The woman, who claimed to be Yuko Chino, the guru of the Pana Wave Laboratory, told Fuji TV that she would lose her fight with cancer in four to five days. Members of her group have threatened to take revenge for her death with the extermination "of all humankind." Her group attracted attention last week when it refused to move its caravan of vehicles from a mountain road in central Japan. It was reported on Tuesday to now be heading for Oizumi in central Yamanashi prefecture from its previous base in Gifu prefecture. The cult, whose members are clad entirely in white, is reported to believe that the world will be devastated on May 15, 2003 by natural disasters, caused by a reversal of the magnetic pole. They reportedly say that Yuko Chino is being killed with electromagnetic waves sent out by communists. The woman told Fuji TV: "I cannot live in one place because of extremists." Fuji TV's reporter - whom Jiji Press reported had to remove his trouser belt and other metal objects, wear a white robe and wrap his equipment in white cloths before he was granted an interview - said the woman did not appear seriously ill. The journalist said that his interviewee spent most of their conversation talking about a seal, known as Tama-chan, who sparked a media frenzy earlier this year after he got lost in a polluted Yokohama river. The French news agency AFP reported that a group linked to the cult failed in its attempt to catch and transport the animal to a makeshift pool at a dome-like building owned by Pana Wave in the village of Oizumi, where the group is now said to be heading. Sadakazu Tanigaki, chief of the national public safety commission, said Pana Wave was not powerful enough yet to cause damage to society at large but vowed to "watch them from a preventive viewpoint."

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10. DPRK Response to "Shift" in Bush DPRK Policy

The Korean Central News Agency of DPRK ("BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S KOREA POLICY ACCUSED," Pyongyang, 05/06/03) reported that the US newspaper the New York Times on April 29 carried an article criticizing the Bush administration's Korea policy. The article said that Bush's assertion about the DPRK's threat to the US is a sheer falsification of truth. It was none other than Bush who listed the DPRK as well as Iraq as part of an "axis of evil" without any clear ground and threatened the DPRK by invading Iraq in violation of international law, it noted, adding it is nothing surprising that North Korea deemed it necessary to have nukes not to threaten the US but to deter the US threat of attack. The world will be put in danger once again due to the cowboy's buffoonery of the Bush administration, it added.

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11. DPRK Leader Comedic Appearance

CNN News ("KIM JONG IL TAKES TIME FOR A LAUGH," Seoul, 05/06/03) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong Il took a break from North Korea's nuclear showdown with the US to enjoy a light military comedy, Pyongyang state media reported Tuesday. Kim joined army generals and officials of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) to take in a "light comedy spiced with scenes making one laugh and bringing tears to one's eyes," the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported. A lover of cinema and drama, Kim pronounced the rib-tickling production by the army's April 25 Film Studio as "another excellent work great in cognitional and educational significance and flawless in ideological content and artistry," KCNA added. Like most works in the DPRK, the play trumpeted Kim's "songun" (army-first) policies, the KCNA said. It did not say when the show in Pyongyang took place.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK Prime Minister's Visit to USFK

Chosun Ilbo (Ko Seok-tae, "GOH TO ASK US TROOPS TO STAY," Seoul, 05/06/03) reported that ROK Prime Minister Goh Kun and Defense Minister Cho Yung-kil will visit US 2nd Infantry Division on Friday, just days before President Roh Moo-hyun leaves for his visit to US. Goh will express ROK government's concern about the controversial plan to relocate the division, now centered in the Gyeonggi province city of Uijeongbu, south of the Han River. Goh is expected to request that discussions about the plan be postponed until the North Korean nuclear crisis is resolved. The prime minister's senior press officer, Kim Duk-bong, said Monday that Goh would meet high US military officials and convey ROK's stance that the relocation of the division should not yet be discussed. Goh will also affirm that ROK government officially supports the continued stationing of the division in its current location, Kim said. Goh's visit is designed to alleviate the uncomfortable sentiment that has prevailed since the incident last June when two middle school girls were killed by US army vehicle from the Gyeonggi province base, insiders said. Goh will hear out the US forces to get a reading on the difficulties they face, Kim said, and promise to provide support for a stable stationing of the US Army in Korea by moving training camps and expanding roads.

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2. US Changing Stance on DPRK Nuclear Nuke

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Jae-ho, "US 'MORE PRAGMATIC' ABOUT NUKE QUESTION," NewYork, 05/06/03) reported Monday that US policy toward DPRK is changing from deterring production of nuclear materials to preventing them from being exported. "President George W. Bush met with Australian Prime Minister John Howard at Bush's ranch in Texas on Sunday and discussed this new tactic after being briefed by James Kelly," said an official at US Department of Defense. The New York TImes reported that US would consider it unimportant whether DPRK has nuclear weapons, but would focus instead on what leaves the reclusive country. Unlike missiles, which can be detected through satellites, nuclear materials can easily be transported through the border to PRC, the source said. That is why President Bush is trying to get PRC involved in the talks to resolve the nuclear crisis. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld appearred on Fox TV on Sunday and said that he didn't know what would happen in DPRK regarding nuclear weapons. "The U.S. government has not been surprised during this time regarding nuclear issues and has not discarded various measures," he said. "The president of the United States is definitely on the right track and Secretary of State Colin Powell is trying to bring up the North Korean problems at the U.N. We will have to wait and see which road they (North Korea) select," he said. Powell, in an appearance on an NBC news program, pointed out that North Korea's reports were difficult to put much faith in. "They always use vague expressions when they make announcements." he said.

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3. Mr. Hwang's Visit to US

Chosun Ilbo (Joo Yong-jung, "TOP DEFECTOR TRYING AGAIN TO VISIT US," Washington, 05/06/03) reported that Hwang Jang-yop, former secretary of the North Korean Workers Party and the highest-ranking official to ever defect from the country, has asked four US senators to help him visit US. Hwang sent letters to politicians such as Henry Hyde (Republican-Illinois, chairman of Committee of International Relations) and Christopher Cox (Republican-California, chairman of the Policy Committee). In the letter sent under two titles - honorary chairman of the North Korean Refugee Association and chairman of the Committee of North Korean Democratization, Hwang wrote that he would like to visit US to exchange opinions with officials there about problems concerning DPRK. "I would very much appreciate if you would assist my visit to the U.S." he said in the letter. Hwang also sent letters to Secretary of State Colin Powell. The U.S. Defense Forum Foundation, which is actively promoting Hwang's visit, sent him an invitation - then on April 10, Hwang sent a letter to the Korean Embassy in Washington, requesting that necessary procedures for the visit be commenced. ROK government has blocked Hwang from making the trip to US in the past, citing security concerns. ROK government official said Monday that they knew Hwang wanted to go to America by July. "Although we have not yet decided on the final course of action," he said, "there is no reason to block Hwang's visit - so we are looking it over from a positive perspective."

III. Japan

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1. US Bases in Japan

The Asahi Shimbun ("MARINES LAND AT OKINAWA AIRPORT WITHOUT PERMISSION," HIRARA, OKINAWA PREF., 04/28/03) reported that six US Marine helicopters and a refueling aircraft landed at a civilian airport on Miyakojima island, Okinawa Prefecture on April 26, prompting protests from residents and the prefectural government. The aircraft, six CH-46 transport helicopters and a KC-130 tanker, based at the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa, landed at Miyako Airport at 7:13 a.m. The US aircraft are taking part in military exercises in the Philippines. All left the airport about 90 minutes later after refueling. Officials said the operation did not disrupt civilian flights at the airport. The refueling was conducted despite requests by the prefectural government to refrain from landing at the facility, prefectural officials said. According to the officials, the US Marine Corps asked the prefectural government for landing permission, but was turned down. About 100 residents, including Hirara Mayor Akira Ishimine, gathered outside the airport to protest. "We feel the front gate to Miyako has been kicked in by army boots. We cannot forgive this," Ishimine said. The prefectural government issued a statement, signed by Ryoko Arakaki, director of the Governor's Office, that read, "We will demand that the US and Japanese governments revise the Status of Forces Agreement to find a solution to the problem."

The Asahi Shimbun ("GINOWAN MAYOR'S ANTI-BASE CRITICISM IGNORED BY OFFICIALS," Ginowan, 04/29/03) reported that new Ginowan Mayor Yoichi Iha wasted no time blasting the US military presence in Okinawa, but central government officials did not seem to care. Iha, 51, an independent supported by the Democratic Party of Japan, the Japanese Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Okinawa Social Masses Party, rekindled anti-base sentiment to win the election over 47-year-old Osamu Ashitomi, an independent backed by the ruling coalition. The main issue in the mayoral race was the central government plan to relocate the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from Ginowan to Nago, in northern Okinawa. Iha argued the relocation plan will just "spread the disaster," and vowed to close down Futenma within five years. He also repeated his criticism against Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine for pushing plans to relocate the air station to Nago.

Kyodo ("USS CARL VINSON TO VISIT YOKOSUKA," Yokosuka, 04/30/03) reported that the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson will call early this month at the US Navy base in Yokosuka, US military sources said. The last nuclear-powered carrier to call at the base was the USS Nimitz in September 1997. It will be the fourth Yokosuka visit by the 91,487-ton Carl Vinson, which stopped at the base in 1984, 1994 and 1996. A local citizens' group claims the US military is trying to use the Yokosuka base as a home port for a nuclear-powered carrier. The group is collecting signatures to oppose such a move. It says a permanent presence by a nuclear-powered carrier would pose the same risk of accidents involving radioactivity as building a nuclear reactor in the community. "At present, the Yokosuka base in effect serves as a home port for the non-nuclear carrier Kitty Hawk," said Masahiko Goto, who leads the group. He said the visit by the Carl Vinson may be a strategic move by the US to "make a nuclear carrier successor to the Kitty Hawk after it retires."

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2. Japan Anti-Ballistic Missile Measures

The Japan Times ("DIET MAY BE TAKEN OUT OF ATTACK-RESPONSE EQUATION," 04/30/03) reported that the Japanese Defense Agency may simplify the procedures under which the prime minister can order countermeasures in the event of a ballistic missile attack on Japan. Under the plan, the prime minister would be able to authorize countermeasures on the basis of Cabinet approval alone, sources said. The Diet would then be asked to endorse a given maneuver after it is carried out. The move is viewed as one potential modification of Japan's legal framework in preparation for the introduction of a missile defense system, observers said. Defense Agency chief Shigeru Ishiba has stated it would probably take a Nodong missile launched from the DPRK seven or eight minutes to hit a Japanese target. It would thus be impossible for the prime minister to act quickly and effectively under the current legal framework, agency sources said.

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3. Japan's Role in East Timor

The Asahi Shimbun (Taro Karasaki, "JAPAN LOOKS TO E. TIMOR AS TEST FOR IRAQ," 04/26/03) reported that as Japan jockeys for a role in the reconstruction of Iraq, the government is looking to another of its nation-building projects as a model --East Timor. Japan pledged $470,000 in assistance to the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation, based in Dili, East Timor. The commission aims to settle disputes between the fledgling government and insurgent elements. With the attention of Western powers focused on the Middle East, East Timorese Foreign Minister and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta expressed appreciation for Japan's aid commitment. "Foreign Minister (Yoriko) Kawaguchi stated that Japan remains committed to maintaining the current level of assistance to East Timor for the next three years," Ramos-Horta said in an interview with Asahi Shimbun reporters. Ramos-Horta, who calls Japan "East Timor's No. 1 donor," stressed the importance of further aid to help build the country's infrastructure and develop human resources. A Japanese Foreign Ministry official, meanwhile, said the government hopes East Timor will develop successfully and become a shining addition to its portfolio of nation-building achievements, such as in Sri Lanka and still-fragile Afghanistan.

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4. Japan Diet By-election

The Japan Times ("COALITION WINS THREE BY-ELECTIONS," 04/29/03) reported that candidates from the ruling bloc won three of the four Diet by-elections held on April 27, while the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the largest opposition force, retained a Tokyo-constituency Lower House seat left vacant by the assassination of a DPJ lawmaker last fall, final results showed. Yoko Komiyama, 54, of the DPJ, received 99,600 votes to the 57,783 for Liberal Democratic Party candidate Michio Ochi, 74, in Tokyo's No. 6 constituency, according to the final vote tally announced by the local election board. As a result of the by-elections, the number of LDP lawmakers in the 480-member Lower House will be 242, and the DPJ will have 115. In the 247-member Upper House, the LDP will hold 112 seats and the DPJ 58.

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5. US on Japan's ODA

Kyodo ("JAPANESE FOREIGN AID RATED AS MOST DEVELOPMENT-UNFRIENDLY," Washington, 04/30/03) reported that Japan, the world's second-largest donor of foreign aid, ranked last among 21 rich countries in efforts to help poor nations reduce poverty, according to a US survey. The Netherlands emerged as the most development-friendly country, according to the survey conducted by Foreign Policy magazine and the Center for Global Development, a Washington-based think tank. The US, the world's largest foreign aid donor, ranked second to last. The new survey evaluated support for poor countries from the 21 rich countries, based on the newly developed CGD/FP Commitment to Development Index. It covers six areas -- aid, trade, the environment, investment, migration and peacekeeping. The index rewards generous and selective aid giving, hospitable immigration policies, sizable contributions to peacekeeping operations and hefty foreign direct investment. It penalizes financial assistance to corrupt regimes and policies that harm shared environmental resources. Japan finished last in the ranking because it exacts heavy interest payments on old loans and scored low marks in immigration policy, the survey said.

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Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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