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JAPAN



Published: Mon, August 29, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



JAPAN

Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokyo, Aug. 23: Six-nation talks aimed at scrapping North Korea's nuclear arms program are expected to resume in Beijing by the end of the month at the earliest.

Dealing with the reclusive state's nuclear weapons and missile development programs is a matter of grave concern for Japan's national security.

What are the views of the political parties on this problem? North Korea should be debated as a major issue in each party's campaign for the Sept. 11 House of Representatives election.

The manifestos released by the major political parties for the upcoming poll all cite North Korea as a major policy issue. However, these election pledges are unsatisfactory in many respects.

In harm's way

Japan would be exposed to a direct nuclear missile threat if North Korea developed a nuclear warhead. This country is within range of North Korean ballistic missiles. None of the manifestos seem to reflect the threat this nation faces. Japan has every reason to urge Pyongyang to scrap its nuclear development program.

It is important for Japan to use its alliance with the United States as a basis for its approach to the North Korean problem. At the same time, however, from a point of view of protecting Japan's national interest, we consider it important for this country to urge China, South Korea and Russia to behave carefully.

JORDAN

The Jordan Times, Amman, Aug. 23: The memorandum of understanding recently signed between Jordan and Britain allowing the latter to deport Jordanians considered a security risk is continuing to fuel national debate.

There are those who regard this memorandum as a form of a treaty that must be submitted to parliament in accordance with article 33 of the constitution before it acquires the force of law in Jordan.

While others view the agreement as simply an "understanding" between the two countries that falls short of a treaty and therefore does not require the Parliament's ratification.

Article 33 requires that any treaty or convention that "negatively" affects the rights of Jordanians be submitted to parliament for approval before it becomes legally binding.

Acrimonious debate

Perhaps a closer reading of the memorandum would stop the ongoing acrimonious debate. What the memorandum says is that Jordanians who are deported from the UK to Jordan for security reasons must be assured of their basic human rights, including protection from the death penalty, torture or ill-treatment, and unjust trials or unlawful detention. There is nothing here that impinges on the human rights of such people.

The UK is subject to the European Convention on Human Rights (and may) not deport people to any country where they may face the death penalty, torture or ill treatment.

Therefore, so long as the United Kingdom does not contravene this legislation, Britain is well within its right to deport anyone it deems "non-conducive to the public good."

NORWAY

Verdens Gang, Oslo, Aug. 23: Maybe it was right, what a Jewish settler shouted as he resisted Israeli soldiers on the Gaza strip: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is out to get the Nobel Peace Prize.

In any case, the evacuation of Gaza went much better than expected, despite dramatic TV footage.

Who would have thought Sharon, known as the father of the settlements, would have put in thousands of troops and police to remove nearly 9,000 Jewish settlers from occupied Palestinian areas?

Dove of peace?

We strongly doubt that the old warrior Ariel Sharon has become a dove of peace. It was more likely the act of the military and political strategist. It was too expensive, politically and economically, to maintain the occupation.

But it was courageous of the prime minister, who has met strong opposition from the right wing of his own party. The evacuation created a historic chance, there can be new movement in the peace process.

But that requires continued pressure from the international community, first and foremost the United States, to ensure that the withdrawal from Gaza is not the first and the last.




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