Japan protesting over the Korean military exercises near Takeshima

Korea announced that they would conduct target practice in the vicinity of the occupied Takeshima Islands (Shimane pref., Okinoshima) starting Jun 20. Chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga during his press conference on Jun 19 stated: “The military exercises are to be conducted within the Japanese territory, we cannot accept it. This is really deplorable”. The government via the Korean embassy strongly called for Korea to cancel the trainings.

When received the notice of the trainings Japan Coast Guard on the night of Jun 18 issued a “navigation warning” for the ships that are to pass in the vicinity. Commenting on this warning Suga underlined: “The warning was issued in consideration of security. It does not mean that we admit Korean claims about Takeshima Islands and it does not mean that we are recognizing these military exercises.”

An official of the Ministry of Foreign affairs suspects that these Korean military exercises are connected with the investigation results on the Kono statement that are to be presented to the parliament on Jun 20.



Yasukuni visit is my private matter – Minister Yoshitaka Shindo

On Apr 13 Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Yoshitaka Shindo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshitaka_Shind%C5%8D) speaking about criticism from China, Korea and Taiwan about his visit to the Yasukuni shrine on Apr 12 objected: “This is my private matter, and it is not proper for other countries to interfere”.

At the same time answering to a question from the press in the PM residence he mentioned: “It is necessary for the government to explain (the meaning of the visit) using diplomatic channels”.

Before that Shindo had a meeting with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga in the PM residence, but he affirmed to the press that they were not discussing his visit to Yasukuni.


Right of collective defense would apply if Japan is in danger – LDP’s Shigeru Ishiba

Today in the “Shinsou news” program on BS Nittere TV LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba speaking about the right to exercise collective self-defense drew a clear line between exercising this right when Japan itself is in immediate danger and when the other country is in danger.

There was a specific example presented by the hosts of the program. A US warship is being attacked by North Korea, Japan warship is nearby. Exercising the right of collective self-defense, will Japan be allowed by the law to help the US warship?

Ishiba introduced even more details in this example. He said that if the US warship is fighting the North Korea in order to protect Japan, then the right to exercise collective self-defense certainly applies because Japan is in immediate danger and the US is fighting for it.

Another case, he said, if, for example, US is in the process of fighting North Korea in order to protect the South, then there is a whole different issue, and Japan will have to deliberate whether Japan in immediate danger or not. Only if it is obvious that after the South Korea is down North Korea will move forward to attack Japan, Japan should exercise the right for collective self-defense. And should the South Korea ask for help directly, Japan will consider and most likely accept the request.

by naokawa

Chief cabinet secretary Suga – An Jung-geun is a criminal

During Nuclear Security Summit in Netherlands a separate China-Korea talks were held. Both countries expressed appraisal regarding the creation of memorial hall to tribute An Jung-geun, a Korean independence activist who assassinated former Japanese PM Hirobumi Ito.

Chief cabinet secretary Suga Yoshihide when appearing on TV Tokyo on Mar 29 confirmed that the talks between China and Korea took place and again expressed Japan’s dissatisfaction over the talks that “looked like the two countries were estranged from other Summit participants”. Suga stated that “Japan considers this to be a memorial hall for a criminal, a terrorist”.

Japan will not help… President Park Geun-hye might have to pay for her anti-Japan diplomacy

At long last the talks between Japan, America and Korea took place in Hague. However, Korea is facing a possibility of international isolation.

Last year an informal conference between the officials of Japan and Korea was held. It was about diplomatic relations between the two countries, the security issues, North Korea problems and the right to exercise collective self-defense that is being pushed by PM Abe. During this conference one of the Japanese officials mentioned that should a war occur again at the Korean peninsula with North Korea invading the South, Japan might not help the South Korea this time.

It is said that the Korean officials were shocked by these words.

But with Korea giving it all to bashing and spreading lies about Japan on the comfort women and history problems, why would Japan be helping Korea should an emergency situation occur? Then there is a Takeshima islands unlawfully occupied by Korea.

In Japan there is a Law on a Situation in the Areas Surrounding Japan that was established in 1999. Its primary goal is to help South Korea fighting the North should an emergency situation occur in the Korean peninsula.

So Korean officials at the conference just smirked that it is your law and why should we care. Then a Japanese official slowly and diligently explained that Japan would request prior consultation from the US and that it is possible that Japan would not allow the US to use its military bases in Japan to protect the South.

At this point the Korean officials finally got it.

The Japan-US Security Treaty stipulates that US can have its military bases in Japan in return for protecting Japan, and only Japan. If the US would like to act in favor of the third countries the “prior consultation” between Japan and US is required. And the Japanese official hinted that Japan may say “No” to the US request.

Up to now there were no cases when the “prior consultation” was conducted. During the Vietnam war and the Gulf war America did not launch attacks directly from its bases in Japan, and there were no need for the consultation. But if something happens in the Korean peninsula will Japan give ok to the US operations? If Japanese citizens would be completely fed up with Korea, they would oppose supporting it. Unless public opinion supports it Japan will not be able to give Korea all the help it needs.

As for Korea the Us involvement is a matter of life and death. And the US must use its military bases in Japan to head for Korea. But what if it would not be able to do so…

Sure enough that the probability that Japan would reject US request at the “prior consultation” is almost zero. However, the Japanese officials mentioning the “prior consultation” that never occurred before means a lot.

Jiniro Pyon, a chief editor of “Korea report”, who is well versed in the Japan-Korea relations says that never before the Japan-Korea relations over security were that bad. Korea opposing Japan trying to exercise the right of collective self-defense was the beginning of it, however such statements from government officials mean that Japan’s patience has run out. Japan is openly disappointed with Korea forgetting that Japan was helping to protect it for over half of a century from the moment the Korean state was established.

Jiniro Pyon continues that the danger that Korea is being exposed from the North is incomparable to that Japan is exposed to, and continuing opposing Japan trying to exercise the right of collective self-defense will do Korea absolutely no good. Park’s administration’s anti-Japan diplomacy will boomerang to Korea.

How Korea will act being confronted by this reality?


LDP to counter the anti-Japan campaigns by China and Korea

On Mar 27 LDP created a “Committee for the International Information Analysis”. This purpose of this committee is to develop strategies on how to relay information that would counter the anti-Japan propaganda by countries like China and Korea they engage in other countries. The committee will analyze propaganda activities of China and Korea in the US. Governmental information strategy office will be established in the US. It will be relaying the information that would counter the anti-Japan propaganda in the US.

The anti-Japan campaign by China and Korea over such issues as PM Abe visit to Yasukuni and comfort women problem has been gaining strength lately. The committee is called to prevent the false information from spreading around the world and have Japan take offensive by transmitting the information it possesses.

The committee was created under the LDP’s foreign affairs and economic partnership division (chief – Lower House representative Seishiro Etoh). Yoshiaki Harada Lower House representative is planned to become the chairman.

The main goal of the committee would be to investigate the propaganda activities of China and Korea in the US as well as cooperate with the lobbyist and parliamentary diplomatic actions, civil movements and educational institutions. The committee will fully study the end goal of the propaganda and consider how it would affect the diplomatic efforts of Japan and how to counter it.

Also, in order to efficiently execute information relaying strategies and stand up to China and Korea the creation of a new organization and foreign offices that would unify the governmental information transmittance activities is under consideration. Changes in the NHK World international broadcasting concept will also be discussed. Research of the civilian and governmental organization roles will be conducted and with funding being secured for the governmental organizations financial grants for the civilian activities will also be considered.


Korea will not be sharing military intelligence with Japan

Press secretary for the Korean defense ministry on Mar 24 stated that the work on the memorandum of understanding on the military intelligence sharing with Japan and US that was discussed at working-level is now stopped. “It is very important that it is done in the right time. Now it is not the right time.” – mentioned press secretary.

Press secretary denied reports by some media that Japan, America and Korea are working to sign the memorandum.

In 2012 Japan and Korea were working to conclude the agreement on sharing confidential information, mostly in the military area, but the public opinion in Korea became increasingly negative and the work has stopped right before the agreement was to be signed.


President Park just keeps whining – now it is textbooks and Yasukuni

One can only be appalled at the stubbornness of Korea’s president Park Geun-hye. Both PM Abe Shinzo and American president Barack Obama are looking forward to the talks at the highest level between Japan, US and Korea in Hague, and only Korea still would not confirm its participation. Now, in addition to the comfort women issue Korea is having problems with Japan certifying its textbooks. No wonder Japan and US are losing their temper.

On May 17 spokesman for the Korean president commented about the possibility of Japan, US and Korea talks during the nuclear security summit in Hague, Netherlands: “If Japan expresses its sincere attitude, and there will be a place for the constructive conversation, there is no reason not to talk”. At long last the Park’s administration is being positive about the top-level talks, but you can’t trust them easily.

On the same day the Yonhap news agency expressed concerns of the Korean side about the results of primary school textbook screening to be published right after the talks: “If Korea is to be drawn into unfavorable talks, it will have bad effect on the domestic policy”.

Also on Mar 18 Kankoku Nippo magazine reported that during the talks of vice minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Korea held in Seoul on Mar 12 Korean side brought forward three conditions for Japan: (1) Kono Youhei statement on the wartime comfort women is to be unchallenged, (2) a conference on this issue is to be held at vice-minister level, (3) PM Abe must not visit Yasukuni shrine.

The US lead by president Obama would like to see peace and stability in the North-Eastern Asia, and that is why the US is acting as an intermediary to patch up the relationships between Japan and Korea. PM Abe valued this effort and during his testimony before the Upper House Budget Committee on Mar 14 reaffirmed his position about the much problematic “Kono statement”: “Abe’s cabinet is not seeking to review it”. He also stated the following about the comfort women issue: “Their suffering was beyond all description, and I am deeply saddened by this”.

President Park in response to PM Abe’s statement said “I am glad”, but at the same time spokesman for the president only stated: “At this moment nothing is decided”. It seems that Korea wants to further negotiate the conditions.

But now it is all up to Korea. If they are holding back the answer until the very end and try to force Japan into even more compromise, such behavior cannot be forgiven.


China uses the comfort women issue to its interest

It seems like the comfort women statues and monuments will be ‘invading’ Australia as well with the help of Korea and… China. The two countries continue what they do best – Japan bashing – and China siding with Korea has its own interest. This interest is to make the US government be concerned about Japan building up it is military forces. Strong Japan obviously interferes with China’s expansion in Asia. This has nothing to do with comfort women issue itself.

Sure enough that weak Japan is welcomed by China as it plans its invasion of the Senkaku Islands (Okinawa pref.). Basically China takes Korea for a ride and use it to fool the unbeknown West about the comfort women issue.

Korea is calling Japan to face the history, but when Japan says that we want to check the ‘facts’ in the “Kono statement”, can’t it be said that Japan tries to face the true history? If president Park Geun-hye is so sure of the Korean ‘history’, should she not support Japan in every way?

People who want to know the truth about the comfort women (read the Korean wartime prostitutes) already know it. The US army said it all in its report of August 1944, which is available here with Japanese translation.

Anyhow, Japan should understand that informational war is being waged against it. It is time to stand strong and fight now, if we do not want to fight the real war down the road.

by naokawa and http://www.zakzak.co.jp/society/domestic/news/20140313/dms1403131728011-n1.htm

Japan – Korea relations may worsen, leader’s meeting is being prepared

At the end of March the The Nuclear Security Summit 2014 will take place in Hague, Netherlands. US wants to use this occasion to organize talks at the highest level between Japan, US and Korea. US Secretary of State John Kerry directly approached Foreign ministries of Japan and Korea and called for dialog. However, Korea keeps refusing. With the situation in North Korea remaining unclear the worsening relations between Japan and Korea may interfere with the US strategy in Asia.

In the core of the US strategy in Asia are strong relationships with both Japan and Korea. Both countries are America’s long time allies in the region.