Thursday, September 09, 2010

New waves! China Japan bruised with territorial confrontations

Ritual Training for Japan Coast Guards

No, this time it's not about US Japan Korea China military naval war-games in the China southern seas, whaling or oil and gas research, this time it is about the recurrent territorial disputes that Easterners have been unable to resolve in decades.

Japan Coast Guard (under civilian control) just arrested Zhan Qixiong the captain of a Chinese ship yesterday for allegedly colliding his boat with their patrol boats in the East China Sea. All of this happens while Japan and China are negotiating on economy and trade files, the Korean peninsula. The captain is a 41-year-old Chinese national and he was held on "suspicion of obstructing public duties" after his boat clashed with Japanese CG in the highly disputed territory north-east of Taiwan. Islands known as Senkaku in Japan, Diaoyu in China and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan... Problem. These islands are claimed together, especially with the oil-rich surrounding area, by all three countries.

One can always talk about Free Trade area while nobody here is able to fix the territorial situation. A several decades old crisis.

No one was injured in the incident... But Tokyo and Beijing both registered formal complaints with each other's ambassadors, news reports said. Then, since the arrest of the Chinese fishing boat captain, diplomatic tensions between China and Japan escalated yesterday. Why? Beijing called in Japan's ambassador for a second time after the (minor) boat collision.

China PR boss said that Japanese Ambassador Uichiro Niwa was summoned to see Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue, who demanded that the Chinese vessel be released immediately. The crew, who do not have passports, are waiting on the boat. Then, ambassador Niwa was re-summoned a 2nd time. In Tokyo, Japanese officials repeated their territorial claims over the islands, adding that they had no immediate plans to release the captain or the boat.

Japan has also lodged a protest over the incident to the Chinese side and for Chief cabinet secretary Sengoku, its business as usual: "Procedures were carried out in an orderly manner. The matter was handled according to domestic Japanese law because Japan's position has always been that no territorial issue exists over the Senkaku Islands."


The Chinese media naturally strongly criticized. The Global Times carried a report that said, "The collision was a Japanese conspiracy. The objective is to heighten the risk for Chinese fishing boats trying to enter the waters of the Diaoyutai." The owner of the trawler involved in the incident told a local newspaper: "We often fish near those islands and are often chased away by Japanese patrol vessels. We have had many run-ins and there was one such incident in August." Zhan was described as a "very experienced" captain, the Asahi shimbun writes today

So why should he collide with Japan Coast Guards boats...?

Most Desired Tropical islands calling blue water navies to flex muscles

The "Senkaku in Japan, Diaoyu in China and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan" waters alleged collision happened, Japan said, in Japanese territorial waters off the northwestern coast of Japan's Kuba island, just north of uninhabited, disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. The islands, about 120 miles (190 kilometers) east of Taiwan, are controlled by Japan but are also claimed by China and Taiwan.

One cannot imagine that November APEC forum is to be set this year in Japan. An other reason to understand that this APEC forum is nothing else than a gathering of procrastinated bureaucracies. As ex presidential adviser, strategist, and author Jacques Attali wrote in his latest books, "Tous ruinés dans dix ans ?" "Vivre en crise" or "Le Sens des choses" from G20 to UN, APEC, none of these formula work and people don't count. Time to reinvent our leaders. (French Radio "L'Ete en pente douce" August 2010)

Ichiro Ozawa

In the meantime, foreign affairs happen to be invited in the current election. Election campaign seen as the most boring ever critics say, one of them is in the English version today page 13 of the world biggest newspaper Yomiuri shimbun with Akitoshi Muraoka. Worth reading.

Finally China and Korea relations with Japan appeared on the course of the election for the next ruling party top-boss and future prime minister. Japan's politician and king makers for 2 decades Ichiro Ozawa, who is seeking to become the prime minister next week against his fellow party member Naoto Kan, made this breakthrough statement that he would never visit Tokyo's controversial Yasukuni war shrine which keeps "souls" of some of World War II war criminals condemned to the death penalty by the Tokyo tribunal.

Ichiro Ozawa runs as the leader of the governing DPJ (Minshuto) against current DPJ president and prime minister Naoto Kan, and for him such war criminal souls should not be honoured at the site, which enshrines the souls of 2.5 million dead, including critical 14 leading war criminals which remind to all that this Shintoist sanctuary is seen as a symbol of Japan's past aggressions. "Class-A war criminals ended up like that because of their political responsibility"Ozawa said. The top war criminals from World War II were secretly enshrined in the 1970s, including General Hideki Tojo, the prime minister who ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor and was hanged for war crimes by a US-led tribunal.

DPJ Campaigning...

Counter acting to Japanese revisionists, Ozawa promotes ties with Japan's East Asian neighbors and last December took more than 140 young DPJ lawmakers on a visit to Beijing, where they were greeted by President Hu Jintao. As a pointer of future political courses, Ozawa also agreed with plans to give Asian long term resident foreigners the right to vote in local elections. For Ozawa: "South Korea has introduced local election voting rights, while Europe is on course to approve it. Such an idea follows a global trend."

The idea is to grant local and regional but not national suffrage to almost one million permanent residents of ethnic Korean, Chinese and other foreign backgrounds, both those who were born overseas and their descendants living in Japan after colonization and invasion of Korea and China by Japan Imperial Armies last century.


The day when history is studied and collectively formated into a fundamental treaty, such as the Treaty of Rome cemented Europe foundations, maybe the East Asian nations will get rid of their decades old psychological insecurity. Energy and natural resources potential key-marks?

Sources: Internets, Agencies, Twitter, Wiki, Reporter's Notes

✍✍✍ Ozawa? he gotta GTL (GTL = Gym, tan, laundry). It has to be done everyday to achieve maximum potential...

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

North Korea Kim Jong-un: Real picture or... a fake?

Is this man on the left, with a red tie, Kim Jong-un the son of North Korea regime leader Kim Jong-il? Or is he a simple manager engineer of the "Kim Chaek Industrial Complex" accompanying the leader Kin Jong-il on past visits? Chosen because of a resemblance with Kim Il-sun?

The image is spread all over the world by news agencies and thanks to the Internet, including on newspapers and military analysis sites such as

If he is not the KJI offspring, then this photo would be a forgery, a fake image that was published without official confirmation by news agencies, photo news agencies and newspapers.

What also circulates on the Internet is a picture of a child, presented as Kim Jon-un, "while in school abroad" years ago.

The Kim Chaek Complex is named in relation to a Korea War General, it is the largest steel producer in the DPRK. A pipeline supplies iron ore from the Musan Mine located in Musan County, in the North Hamgyong Province.

Besides, sources in Pyongyang have reported news of a decree instructing provincial Party delegates to assemble in Pyongyang by the September 9th for the Chosun Workers’ Party Delegates’ Conference. As Asian Gazette published yesterday.

The Delegates’ Conference is reported to be held in the Pyongyang "April 25th People’s Army House of Culture". All together 5.000 delegates and audience.

In the interim, the French doctors led by Professor Roux of Paris Sainte Anne hospital who examined Kim Jong-il in North Korea last month are still unheard of, although energetically searched by media (who are not in a hurry though to publish any interview) as he is looked for by reporters and governments ' agencies.

No wonder.

Pyongyang capital of Willows

This is a picture distributed by China's Xinhua News Agency, Pyongyang where we see citizens heading back home after attending a celebration ceremony rehearsal for the upcoming Conference of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea. This pic was made on Sunday.

Security is tight and hotels are "full", here is the specific decades old project Ryugyong hotel, still under renovation...

Sources: Reporter's notes

Freelance Reporter Tsuneoka hostage of Afghan kidnappers back home at last!

Kosuke Tsuneoka arrives at Osaka International Airport after 5 months captive in Afghanistan. After long request and research from authorities, services and fellow media associations, he is free.

"I feel relieved. I thought I would definitely be killed for the first two months." His captors had been asking for a ransom to Japan, and it is possible that he was released because terms were agreed. Released Saturday after going missing in Afghanistan in late March, Kosuke Tsuneoka returned home. Following his return, Tsuneoka told that he had felt anger at his kidnappers as they abducted him for money, even though he is a Muslim.

Tsuneoka was blindfolded and kidnapped by two armed military people on April 1 when he was walking with a Taliban member in Kunduz. During his captivity, he said he was locked in a residential house or moved from one battlefield to another. He was never physically assaulted but had seen a bloodied civilian brought into the same house one time during his captivity.

"The civilian, with both his hands and feet tied, was brought into the same house I was locked in. He must have been executed later," Tsuneoka said. "At that moment I realized that the kidnappers kill civilians easily. I became aware that I would be next." "I didn't understand how dangerous non-Taliban groups were. That was my complete mistake," Tsuneoka said. "I will make public what I have seen."

In messages posted in blogs in Japanese, Tsuneoka said the factions in Kunduz and Takhar provinces who kidnapped him pretended to be Taliban and "tried to extort" the Japanese government. He said Afghan authorities were unable to publicize the fact as the group's commander is very close to the Afghan government. He also said in separate messages posted early Monday that he thought during his more than five months in captivity that he would be killed to ensure his silence once the group had stopped trying to get money from the Japanese government.

In June, Afghan security officials said Taliban militants had demanded the Afghan government pay a ransom for Tsuneoka and that negotiations were under way to pay several hundred thousand dollars in return for his release.

The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press news agency said Sunday a Taliban commander in Kunduz has claimed responsibility for holding the journalist, citing an interview with the commander. The Japanese Embassy in Kabul, however, said the kidnappers' affiliation is still not clear. Afghan Islamic Press reported Sunday that Tsuneoka was released in the Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz and quoted the Kunduz commander as saying, "We treated him very well. He would vouch for this." AIP said the Japanese journalist was released because he is a Muslim and that his captors wanted him to celebrate Eid, the Islamic festival at the end of Ramadan, with his family.

Tsuneoka, who formerly worked for Nagasaki Broadcasting Co., has been covering war-related stories as a freelance journalist, traveling to war zones in Afghanistan, Ethiopia and elsewhere. According to Tsuneoka's personal website, he is interested in reporting "war stories from the standpoint of people who are vulnerable in war."

France 3 has 2 TV reporters hostages: Herve Ghesquiere and Stephane Taponier who worked for the show "Pieces a conviction" of French state television France-3, were kidnapped with their Afghan guides on Dec. 29 in Kapisa province, northeast of Capital Kabul, in Afghanistan. The general secretary of the Elysee, Claude Gueant, said Sunday on French radio that the two French state television journalists kidnapped in Afghanistan were "in good health."

Monday, September 06, 2010

North Korea parades prior to Party Congress Opening Session

On September 9, 1948, North Korea established the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.) headed by then-Premier Kim Il-sung...

The North Korean Workers Party leadership is to delay the opening of an extraordinary congress to later this week. It will be the first extraordinary party congress in 44 years. Thursday 9th or Friday 10th appear as the latest dates selected.

Kim Jung-un, Kim Jong-il’s youngest son, oversees all the preparations for the meeting, including personnel affairs, gifts for delegates and accommodation as well as the selection of actors, commercials, finances and so on. "Jang Sung-tek, senior official of the National Defense Committee and the head of administration, assists Kim Jung-eun only in security affairs." (North Korean Sources)

The party is expected to elect members of the Central Committee first, and then a plenary session of the Central Committee will elect members of the Politburo, the Secretariat, and the Central Military Committee, the source said. The source speculated that Kim Jon-un will be elected to the Central Committee and then given a key post such as a member of the Presidium of the Politburo or party secretary, provided he makes an appearance at all. The source added, "It may be possible for the North to hold a plenary session of the party Central Committee separately later," so Kim Jong-un's election to a key post could be delayed.
(Sources Xinhua)

Party conferences have been held only twice before: in 1958 and 1966. In 1958, the country’s economic development plans and a restructuring of the party system were discussed. In 1966, the party’s top position had its name changed to “general secretary".

Children contribution to the Party Congress

Like in former sessions, North Koreans' schoolchildren have been marching Pyongyang streets last days chanting a song believed to hail North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's third son and heir apparent Jong-un.

Almost every morning and evening, several groups of junior high school students in uniforms march on streets near Pyongyang Station singing the song, known as "Footsteps," to promote the upcoming event and the 65th anniversary of the founding of the party on Oct 10. They also sing a song for North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung and one for Kim Jong-il. Similar scenes were witnessed last year when the country staged a 150-day campaign and a 100-day campaign to rebuild the economy. (Sources Kyodo)

Restart the 6 part talks on the agenda?

Also the United States "has begun weighing a fresh effort at engagement with Mr. Kim’s government, officials and analysts say." (Quotes New York Times August 27th).

Sources: Reporter's Notes