Friday, March 11, 2005

Jacques Chirac in Japan late march : Meet the Emperor, PM Koizumi, visit at 2005 World Expo

French President Jacques Chirac will meet Japanese Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi when he visits Japan on an
official visit later this month, the Japanese foreign
ministry said Friday.

Chirac and his wife Bernadette will start their
three-day official visit on March 26, during which they
are also scheduled to meet Emperor Akihito and Empress
Michiko, the ministry said.

The French president will also attend a sumo tournament
in western Japan's Osaka and a seminar on sustainable
development during his visit, according to diplomats.

Visiting French Foreign Trade Minister Francois Loos
said last month Chirac would also attend the six-month
World Exposition in central Aichi prefecture.

Japan hopes 15 million people will visit the World Expo,
which will run from March 25 to September 25 with the
main theme of how to make technology friendly to the

A political issue during Chirac's visit would be a plan
championed by France to end the European Union embargo
on selling arms to China, which has drawn concern from
Japan and its close ally the United States.

The arms embargo has been in place since the massacre of
pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square
in 1989.

Also on the agenda would be the protracted dispute with
Japan regarding rival bids to host the multi-billion
dollar International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor
(ITER), one of the most exciting ventures in
international science.

En Français :

Comme nous l'annoncions il y a plusieurs semaines deja
de sources bien informées, l'information est dorénavant
officielle tant a Paris qu'a Tokyo, le Président
français Jacques Chirac est en visite au Japon pendant
trois jours à partir du 26 mars pour discuter des
relations entre les deux pays, a annoncé le gouvernement
japonais, vendredi. Dans un communiqué, le ministère
japonais des Affaires étrangères a précisé qu'au cours
de sa visite, Jacques Chirac s'entretiendra avec le
Premier ministre Junichiro Koizumi et rencontrera
l'empereur Akihito et son épouse Michiko. Il sera
accompagné de son épouse Bernadette, ajoute le
communiqué. Le Président se rendra au tournoi de Sumo
de Osaka, mais aussi a l'exposition universelle d'Aichi
a Nagoya afin d'inaugurer la Common House, le pavillon
commun a la France et a l'Allemagne parraine pour la
partie française par de grandes sociétés françaises dont
Louis Vuitton et Dassault Systèmes qui ont enregistré
des succès industriels et commerciaux depuis de
nombreuses années en Asie de l'Est.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

7 is the magical number : "North Korea : EUROPE 's called into 6-way talks to ease KJI nuke ambitions"

Beijing and Seoul already offered their entire support
to this Europe wise men participation. Moscow is
interested. Most EU members already have diplomatic
relations and cultural institutions represented in
Pyongyang... After Iran, EU's role growing on world


quotes : (agencies)

"European Union parliament members are set to adopt on a
resolution calling for the EU inclusion into the
six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear ambitions, with
an aim to bring Pyongyang back to the stalled

It will the first time that the 732-strong European
Parliament will urge EU leaders and officials to talk
with relevant countries about the EU participation in
the multilateral framework.

The move may lead to the creation of a "seven-party"
framework on North Korea's nuclear program involving the
six : China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Russia and
the United States plus the 25-nation European Union. (33
to come)

The European Parliament calls on the European Council
and the European Commission "to make the necessary
approaches regarding EU participation in future 'Six
Party Talks' at the same time making clear that 'No Say,
No Pay' is a principle which the European Union will
follow regarding the Korean Peninsula."

The European Union has extended 500 million euros in
assistance to North Korea over the last five years, but
it has no representation in the six-way talks.

European experts believe members such as the United
States, Japan and South Korea would want other players
to share the cost to resolve the standoff, especially
after Pyongyang declared on Feb. 10 that it possesses
nuclear weapons and pulled out indefinitely from the

"They (North Korea) have said they would welcome our
participation," a source close to the European
Parliament said. "I'm not claiming it would
automatically get them back to the negotiating table,
but it would certainly make it easier, and (if)
situations will be changed, they can come back more
easily, in a face-saving way."

"I've personally spoken to Kim Yong Nam about this in
the past, and he has indicated they have no problem with
EU participation," the source said. Kim is North Korea's
second highest ranking leader and president of the
country's Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.

The source also said China and South Korea have both
indicated support for EU participation. The "Chinese
line is very simple: 'If it helps North Korea, it's fine
with us,'" the source said.

"I don't think Russia is going to create a problem. I
guess the problem is likely to be primarily with the
U.S., and a lesser extent with Japan," the source said,
expressing caution that the United States and Japan may
only look for financial contributions from the European
Union without letting it have a say about the situation
on the peninsula.

The resolution is expected to be adopted at a plenary
session being held in Strasbourg, France, because it is
backed by the parliament's all six major groups,
parliament members said.

The draft says the European Parliament "is deeply
concerned that North Korea on 10 February 2005 declared
that it possesses nuclear weapons and suspended its
participation in the six-party talks on its nuclear
program for an indefinite period of time."

The parliament "urges both North Korea and the U.S. to
enable a speedy resolution of the current crisis,
initially by offering to recommence the supply of heavy
fuel oil in exchange for a verified freezing of the
Yongbyon plant, to avoid further deterioration of the
current situation," it says.

At the same time, the draft asks the council and the
European Commission "to offer financial support for
heavy fuel oil supplies to remedy North Korea's primary
energy needs."

Moreover, it also "urges North Korea to rejoin the NPT
(Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), to revoke its
decision to withdraw from the six-party talks and to
allow the resumption of negotiations in order to find a
peaceful solution to the crisis in the Korean

The six-party talks have been held three times since
August 2003, but a fourth round set for the end of
September failed to take place after the North refused
to attend it, citing Washington's "hostile" policy
against it.

On Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
and U.S. President George W. Bush agreed during their
telephone talks that North Korea must unconditionally
return to the six-nation talks on its nuclear program at
an early date, and that China can play a significant
role to get Pyongyang to return to the talks."

end of quotes

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Alliot-Marie : EU arms embargo lift against China does not destabilize Taiwan Straight!


"The French defense minister, Michèle Alliot-Marie,
visits the United States this week, hoping to capitalize
on improving trans-Atlantic relations and win some
measure of support for the European Union's plan to lift
its arms embargo against China. . In an interview just
before her trip, the first by a ministerial-level
official since President George W. Bush's visit to
Europe last month, Alliot-Marie argued that the embargo,
which dates from the massacre of students by the Chinese
military in June 1989, is largely symbolic and that the
same effect can be had with strict export controls.

She dismissed fears that lifting the ban would lead to
increased weapons sales to China, potentially
destabilizing the delicate equilibrium across the Taiwan
Strait. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan and has
threatened to take the island by force if it ever claims
formal independence, though for now the mainland's
military is underequipped to carry out such a maneuver.
. "Lifting the embargo doesn't mean at all that we are
going to sell more arms to China," Alliot-Marie said
Monday in her large and ornate office in the ministry
building, hung with portraits of France's military
heroes. She added that France was sensitive to Taiwan's
situation. "We're not irresponsible," she said. . The
embargo prohibits arms sales to China except through
special export licenses. According to the European
Union, French export licenses to China were valued in
2003 at €171 million, or about $225 million, the most of
any member state and up from €105 million in 2002. .
Alliot-Marie said there were no weapons sales planned
that would otherwise be blocked by the embargo. Instead,
Europe is more immediately interested in removing what
she calls a psychological barrier to improved EU-China
relations. . On a more concrete level, China could
reward the EU for lifting the ban: Beijing is
notoriously political in choosing between Boeing and
Airbus for its state-run airlines, for example.

Tension over the plan to lift the arms embargo against
China, probably later this year, comes as France and the
United States are drawing closer on several important
fronts, most notably in their joint effort to force
Syria to withdraw troops from Lebanon and in a more
coordinated approach to dissuading Iran from developing
a nuclear weapons capability. . Even on Iraq, the issue
over which France and the United States were furthest
apart, the two are sounding more conciliatory. While
France has refused to send any military personnel to
Iraq, it has offered to spend €15 million to train 1,500
Iraqi military police in neighboring Qatar or in France,
which is "as much as all of NATO has proposed,"
Alliot-Marie said. Iraq has not responded to France's
offer. . Alliot-Marie, a strong proponent of a European
identity powerful enough to act without the support or
acquiescence of the United States, argued that U.S. and
European goals and values are the same and that recent
trans-Atlantic divisions have frequently been more a
matter of form than substance. . "When we speak, we
perhaps take into greater account the psychology of the
people in matters of international relations," she said,
adding that what differs are the methods that Europe
uses to arrive at the same end. "We think we should lead
people to share in a certain number of things with us
that we can't necessarily impose." . China is a case in
point. Alliot-Marie argues that China has evolved
enormously since 1989 and that it is unfair to maintain
an embargo that sends a powerful negative signal. She
said that denying weapons sales to China could even
accelerate the country's own weapons programs.

"If the country sees that it has no access to certain
types of material, it will accelerate and amplify its
efforts in those areas," she said. "Either we want to
keep China ostracized at the risk that it will turn
inward with all of the dangers that could have, or we
consider China as a great country with which we should
develop our economic and political relations." . She
noted that even Japan and Australia have lifted 1989-era
sanctions against the country. She argues that the
embargo is incomplete in any case. It does not cover
much potentially innocuous technology that China could
use to develop its own weapons systems, for instance.
Such dual-use technology is already under strict
national controls, and the EU has proposed tightening
its code of conduct on sensitive exports if it lifts the
embargo against China. . Russia and Israel have been
China's main weapons suppliers, but even they have been
careful not to sell China latest-generation weaponry.
France and Europe would do the same, she said. . "We
don't sell our state-of-the-art technologies to just
anyone," she said, adding that France maintains one of
the tightest export control regimes in the world. "It's
not in our interest and we have no such intent." .
Alliot-Marie dismissed talk by some members of Congress
about retaliatory restrictions on selling U.S. military
technology to Europe. . "That it isn't at all
reasonable, nor constructive for U.S.-European
relations," she said. Such threats "send an extremely
negative signal." IHT

Monday, March 07, 2005

Georges and Jacques willing to end the trans-atlantic quarrels?

Condoleezza Rice is to come to Tokyo, too early to watch
the blooming cherry trees, but right in time to notice
that French president Jacques Chirac also is in town, in
a not yet announced scheduled visit to Japan at the end
of March.

Both will meet Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro. J
Chirac will visit 2005 Aichi Expo and lecture on
sustainable development at a Nikkei seminar. Jacques
would also grumble how to reduce Japanese tension
regarding the lift of EU embargo on the sales of weapons
to China.

One really hopes that no collision is expected and that
both, at their level, will have dual missions and
messages to deliver to Japanese and world leaders.

French media used to describe Condi as the most hostile
anti Chirac among the hawks of the Bush administration.
Maybe not the case if one remembers how the French
Sherpa (and former French Ambassador in Japan) Maurice
Gourdault-Montagne repeatedly spent time in Condi's
anteroom between January 2003 and the last weeks...

Here is an Op Ed of Andre Fontaine, ex Le Monde
director. His view is too much linked to the Syria deal
between J Chirac (a closed friend of former Lebanese
Premier Rafik Hariri) and G Bush.

In this Op Ed, unfortunately or politely, nothing on the
massive US recomposition of the Middle East region
undertaken by the Bush administration, especially
regarding Iran leadership.


Quotes :

"PARIS -- "Forgive the Russians, ignore the Germans,
punish the French." U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice didn't appreciate being reminded of this famous
statement, which she made in 2003 while serving as U.S.
President George W. Bush's national security adviser.
The purpose of Rice's recent visit to Europe, and that
of Bush a few days later, was to end the trans-Atlantic
quarrels ignited by the Iraq War and restore a climate
of confidence between Washington and its European

It would be an exaggeration to say that, as a result, a
trans-Atlantic "partnership" will be fully achieved and
operate harmoniously. Still, the climate has greatly

Considering that an overwhelming majority of Europeans
would have preferred to see Sen. John Kerry win the
2004 battle for the White House, few would have bet
trans-Atlantic ties could improve this much so quickly.
The turnabout can be attributed to several factors.

First, there was the magnitude of Bush's election
victory. Unlike in 2000, Bush won a clear mandate in
November despite the ongoing conflict in Iraq and his
failure to prove that former Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein had possessed weapons of mass destruction.
Europe quickly concluded that Bush wasn't likely to
change his Iraq policy.

Furthermore, Europe realized that a rapid withdrawal of
coalition forces would likely lead to a civil war
between Iraq's Shiite and Sunni communities. This left
it with little choice but to back the U.S. plan to hold
Iraqi elections. The success of the elections appeared
to validate Bush's policy.

Whatever their stance at the time of the invasion,
European leaders now have little choice but to back
Washington in Iraq. This doesn't mean that France or
Germany will send troops there, but they will take part
in training -- outside Iraq -- Iraqi army and police
officers, and write off most of the huge debt Baghdad
accumulated during the Hussein era.

Second, rather than criticize his European hosts for
their past behavior, Bush turned on the charm. He and
Rice praised Europe's contribution to the war on
terrorism in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and promoted
democratization as the panacea for most of the world's

The death of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is
a third factor. Neither Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon nor Bush ever trusted Arafat, but most Europeans,
including the British, thought that supporting him would
help to soften the anti-Western feelings of most Arabs,
including those in Iraq.

New Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is
eager to end decades of bloody confrontation between two
peoples that are sentenced to live side by side. The
outcome of the Palestinian election and Sharon's
decision to end Israel's occupation of the Gaza strip
and several West Bank cities has helped to narrow the
gap between U.S. and European policies on the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A final factor was the Feb. 14 assassination of former
Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri. In the past the U.S.
and France disagreed on how to deal with Syria in
relation to Lebanon. But the killing of Hariri, for
which some have implicated Syria to some degree, has
brought their policies in this area closer together.

by Andre Fontaine, formerly editor in chief of Le Monde.
Op Ed in Japan Times"

end of quotes.

Korea History Distortion

Op Ed Quotes

"Korean history has come under serious threats. The
nation now faces a daunting challenge of defending its
national history from encroachment by two neighboring
giants. Japan has persistently tried to rationalize its
colonial rule of Korea, and is even intensifying
territorial disputes over Tokto, a group of islets
between the two countries.

And the increasingly powerful and nationalistic China is
attempting to incorporate the most important part of
Korea’s ancient history, the Koguryo Kingdom, into its
own. The Japanese education ministry is now examining
the latest revision of a ``new’’ history textbook for
middle school students. The textbook contains more
contents to gloss over Japan’s wartime atrocities and
justify its colonization of Asian neighbors. Its 2001
version was adopted by less than 0.1 percent of middle
schools thanks to the opposition by conscientious
Japanese intellectuals and civic groups. Korea recalled
its ambassador, froze private-sector exchanges and put
off the cultural market opening at the time.

This year, Japan’s ultra-rightists appear determined to
raise the adoption ratio to 10 percent, with the support
of some politicians. These politicians are advised to
exercise self-restraint. We also hope the Japanese
government will make bold corrections of descriptions
that might deepen its neighbors’ pains. The promoters of
the new textbook call for overcoming ``masochistic’’
historical views but for most other Asian countries,
Tokyo’s official position is still closer to

Japan’s denial of dark historical memories not only
hurts the East Asian cooperation but also hinders its
own growth as a regional leader. Some Japanese ask why
they should keep apologizing: the answer is they have
not apologized genuinely even once. In contrast, Germany
has made heartfelt apologies and sufficient compensation
to their former victims, obtained their forgiveness and
played a central role in Europe’s integration. Japan,
which copied the German state model in the past, should
follow this as well.

More seriously, Tokyo is now spreading its diplomatic
propaganda across the world, with considerable success.
In a latest instance, France’s ARTE TV marked Tokto with
the Japanese name of Takeshima and called it a territory
of Japan. The number of Internet Web sites that describe
the islets in both names has increased from 600 last
July to 2,000. In another example of historical
distortion, Yahoo, the largest U.S. portal site,
describes Pyongyang as a colony of China for 2,000

Something should be done quite urgently, or Korea will
be regarded as a tributary of China for thousands of
years that was modernized thanks to the Japanese
colonialists. The government should act now to rectify
widespread historical distortions and international
prejudices against the nation. It ought to conduct more
active propagation of our history and culture to the
world. At home, it needs to revive the national history
as a compulsory subject at schools and include it in all
state exams."

Korea times
end of quotes

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Taiwan : 2015 Peak Oil, eternal distress and history mischiefs

by Joel J. Legendre

"Go" game to be continued between Chinese and Japanese
politicians on Taiwan issues, while CH/J business
corporations earn massive profits.

Fights erupt, caused by massive emotional and
strategical reasons, and, sometimes moved because of the
energy resources big fear, in particular on oil and gas
acquisition, generated by the BIG FEAR related to the
2015 PEAK OIL CRISIS. The Peak Oil deadline announced
for the year 2015 by professionals.

Click the title link or go to

Taiwan in East Asia fragile community also is the other
regional concern with North Korea, because of
geopolitics fears, often based on mistrust linked to
historical mischief and arrogant Chinese main land
political claims, according to Japanese officials who do
not wish to be named. In other words : The destiny of
this tiny island of Taiwan never bothers East Asia
watchers before and after Chiang ruling on Taiwan
from 1950 to 1975.

Does history repeats itself ?

Long before ruling Taiwan and back to the 1930's, Chiang
kai shek, the general who controlled the nationalists,
abandoned the Nanking city to maintain his army intact
from eventual loss facing the Japanese Imperial army,
or, as some say, in exchange of a certain amount of
money. Chiang left the city without any protection. Then
came the infamous December 13th 1937.

The Japanese Imperial army entered Nanking to "teach a
lesson to our Chinese friends" as Prince Asaka Yasuhiko
is quoted as saying, and allowed J troops to brutalize
and murder dozens of thousands of the Nanking
population, raped, decapitated, in front of foreign
witnesses, who later testified with data and pictures.
The rape of Nanking was " officially "led by Yangtse
Japanese army units commander general Matsui Iwane.

At that time although Matsui stayed in his hospital bed
at Sou Tcheou city, struck by tuberculosis, therefore
quite far from Nanking, historians revealed the Rape of
Nanking was initiated by Imperial Prince Asaka (mentally
devastated by the loss of his wife).

Chiang kai shek, as one knows, escaped China, after
being defeated by Mao's troops and supported by his US
allies, to Formosa, himself enriched with Chinese
treasures that still remain in Taipei and other main
banks vaults...

- On Prince Asaka Yasuhiko and Nanking :


Needless to say that controversy continues, as long as
Japanese and American authorities refuse to disclose
archives on the pre WWII events.


Now : Back to today's story.

Quotes :

"China warns US-Japan military cooperation should not
include Taiwan"

China warned increasing US-Japan military cooperation
should be strictly bilateral and not encompass its
arch-rival Taiwan.

"Any part of putting Taiwan directly or indirectly into
the scope of Japan-US security cooperation constitutes
an encroachment on China's sovereignty and an
interference in China's internal affairs," Foreign
Minister Li Zhaoxing said.

"The Chinese government and people are firmly against
such activities."

Li, who was speaking at the sidelines of China's annual
legislative meeting the National People's Congress
(NPC), characterized the military pact between Japan and
the United States as a "bilateral arrangement" that came
about under the special circumstances of the Cold War.

Li warned it should be "strictly restricted" to a
bilateral nature, warning any expansion of the alliance
could cause problems in the region, without specifying
how China would react.

"If it goes beyond the bilateral scope, definitely it
would arouse uneasiness on the part of Asian countries
and bring about complicated factors to the regional
security situation," Li told reporters.

Beijing has been increasingly wary of Washington and
Tokyo's close strategic partnership, seeing it as a
potential threat to its firm goal of eventually
reunifying with the island of Taiwan, by force if

China considers Taiwan, which has been ruled separately
since the end of a civil war in 1949, as a part of its
territory awaiting reunification.

Beijing last month voiced strong opposition to a US and
Japanese statement which described Taiwan as a common
security issue, slamming the allies' move as

Washington and Tokyo urged China, which has 600 missiles
amassed opposite the island, "to improve transparency of
its military affairs."

Related events : Latest comment from the Japanese
Foreign Affairs ministry Spokesman on Japan ODA to

XII. Question concerning official development
assistance (ODA) to China

Q: It has been reported that the Japanese Government
will terminate its official development assistance (ODA)
to China in the year 2008 when China hosts the Beijing
Olympic Games. Is it true?

Mr. Takashima: The Governments of Japan and China are
currently discussing through diplomatic channels the
future arrangement of ODA, especially yen credits from
Japan to China. No timetable has been set, and the
Government of Japan wishes that the issue of yen credits
to China will be settled in a mutually acceptable and
cordial manner.

Sources :

end of quotes