By John Chan:
One aspect of North Korea’s missile launch has been the Japanese government’s reaction. With his popularity at record lows, Prime Minister Taro Aso exaggerated the threat to divert attention from the crisis at home and boost the case for military rearmament.
A JAPANESE MP has called for a debate on Japan’s “no nukes” policy in light of North Korea’s recent satellite launch: here.
By James Cogan:
Recent revelations surrounding a new defence White Paper have shed further light on a conflict within Australian ruling circles over how to respond to the decline of US imperialism and the associated rise of China’s geo-political influence in the region.
CHINA rejected US criticism of its military spending on Wednesday, saying that US pressure was behind Australia’s expansion of its own military: here.
Japanese occupation of Korea: here.
Mrs. Dewi ‘threw vase at right-wing sound truck’
The Yomiuri Shimbun
TV personality Dewi Sukarno allegedly threw a vase at a right-wing group’s sound truck when it parked next to her house in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, on Sunday, police said.
According to a senior police official, the group was protesting against remarks Sukarno made regarding North Korea’s missile launch two weeks ago.
The incident occurred at about 9:30 a.m. when Dewi, the widow of former Indonesian President Sukarno, who is known as Mrs. Dewi, allegedly hurled a vase at the group’s sound truck from the second floor of her house. She then argued with a member of the group, reportedly in his 20s. The man also knocked a camera out of Sukarno’s hand, the police official said.
In a gazette distributed among North Korean residents living in Japan, Sukarno wrote that North Korea launched a satellite on April 5, not a missile, as countries, including Japan, have said.
The police were gathering information from both parties.
(Apr. 21, 2009)
Japan Should Consider Pre-emptive Strikes, LDP Lawmaker Says
By Sachiko Sakamaki and Takashi Hirokawa
May 26 (Bloomberg) — Japan should consider developing the capability to conduct pre-emptive military strikes given North Korea’s nuclear test yesterday, a ruling party lawmaker said.
“North Korea poses a serious and realistic threat to Japan,” former defense chief Gen Nakatani said today in Tokyo at a meeting of Liberal Democratic Party officials. “We must look at active missile defense such as attacking an enemy’s territory and bases.”
One option would be to equip navy ships with cruise missiles, Nakatani said.
Japan should change its policy and permit attacks on hostile areas, an LDP panel proposed last week following North Korea’s April 5 ballistic missile test. Under Japan’s pacifist constitution, drafted by the U.S. after World War II, the country is forbidden to use force to settle global disputes.
North Korea said yesterday it conducted its second nuclear explosion since 2006 and fired three short-range missiles. The Stalinist country last month said it would strengthen its nuclear deterrence after the United Nations Security Council criticized North Korea’s April missile launch.
The Japanese government has built a defense network since a North Korean Taepodong-1 missile flew over Japan in 1998 that includes anti-missile batteries around Tokyo and is expanding to other major cities. Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada in March ordered the shooting down of any North Korean missile or related debris that entered Japanese territory.
North Korea’s first nuclear test, in October 2006, also prompted the LDP to debate whether Japan should be able to conduct pre-emptive strikes. Japan is the only country that has ever suffered a nuclear attack.
LDP lawmakers at today’s meeting advocated tighter sanctions against North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s regime, including further restricting money flows from Japan to the impoverished nation, according to LDP legislator Kenshiro Matsunami.
Japan last month extended existing sanctions against North Korea for a year. Under the measures, the amount of cash that can be carried to North Korea from Japan without government approval was cut to 300,000 yen ($3,170) from 1 million yen. Japan also lowered the cap on cash wire transfers to 10 million yen from 30 million yen.
Trade between Japan and North Korea fell 97 percent to 793 million yen in 2008 — all in Japanese exports — from 21.4 billion yen in 2005, according to Japan’s Finance Ministry.
To contact the reporter on this story: Sachiko Sakamaki in Tokyo at Ssakamaki1@bloomberg.net; Takashi Hirokawa in Tokyo at email@example.com.
North Korea calls for Japan apology
North Korea: Pyongyang has demanded an apology from Japan for its brutal treatment of Koreans during its annexation and enslavement of the country last century.
Last week Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan apologised for the “enormous damage and suffering” caused by his country’s occupation of Korea and expressed “deep remorse” – but only to South Koreans.
Pyongyang said in a statement that Japan should apologise to “all victims of for the past without any precondition and discrimination.”
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