- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 7, 2001

Tokyo kicks back
The Japanese Embassys defense attache has been ordered to return to Tokyo for kicking his assistant outside a Washington restaurant.
Maj. Gen. Noboru Yamaguchi also was penalized with a temporary cut in salary.
Gen. Yamaguchi, who received his recall order June 1, is expected to leave Washington within weeks. The defense and military attache has served two years of a normal three-year assignment.
The Japanese Defense Agency ordered him to return after the embassy filed a report on the May 31 incident outside the restaurant.
Gen. Yamaguchi kicked Lt. Col. Koichi Narikiyo, the assistant defense and military attache, on both legs because he was upset that his aide poorly hosted a dinner party at the restaurant, according to reports from Japanese newspapers. The guests included the director-general of the defense agency, who was visiting Washington.
The Japanese Embassy confirmed the reports, but would not give further details.
Col. Narikiyo went to a Washington hospital for treatment for his bruised legs, but hospital officials became suspicious about his injuries and called D.C. police.
After learning that the case involved diplomatic immunity, police informed the State Department, which reported the incident to the embassy.
Gen. Yamaguchi could not be reached for comment.

Condemning bombers
Kuwait yesterday clarified a comment by its foreign minister that appeared to endorse Palestinian suicide bombers.
His statement was reported on a national U.S. news program on Sunday in an interview with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.
"We were terribly chagrined to see the statement so misunderstood," said Tareq Mezrem, the Kuwaiti Embassys media attache.
"Attacks against civilians are clearly wrong. This has been our position. We also strongly support attempts to negotiate a just and lasting peace."
Mr. Mezrem released a statement by Foreign Minister Sabah Ahmed Sabah, who said, "It is unfortunate that my statement was understood as … support those who bomb and kill."
Mr. Sabah, who is also acting prime minister, told Kuwait Rai al Aam newspaper that the government supports the "national struggle of the Palestinian people against aggressors," but not the suicide bombers of the Hamas terrorist group.
"Regarding the Hamas movement and bombings in markets full of children, women and unarmed civilians, we do not support this," Mr. Sabah said.
"I want to affirm that we in Kuwait do not support this style," he added. "We tasted the bitterness of such attacks with the hijacking of our airplane and the killing of our children and our loved ones."
Mr. Sabah was referring to the 1985 hijacking of a Kuwaiti airliner on route from Thailand to Kuwait.
Kuwaits official KUNA news agency on Saturday reported that Mr. Sabah had said, "The Palestinian suicide bombing … was legitimate. This is a struggle, and struggle is legitimate."
His quote was repeated Sunday on NBCs "Meet the Press" when host Tim Russert interviewed Mr. Powell, who said he would "make sure" the Kuwaitis "understand that I dont find that to be a very useful statement."

Vietnam trade bill
Sen. John Kerry had some good news for Vietnamese Ambassador Le Van Bang at a farewell dinner this week.
The Massachusetts Democrat said the long-awaited treaty to normalize trade relations with Vietnam will be sent to the Senate by today.
The treaty was signed in July 2000, after four years of negotiations, and both Mr. Le and Douglas Peterson, the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, are credited with playing key roles in the trade talks that led to the agreement.
Mr. Kerry, a Vietnam war veteran, and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican and a POW from the war, praised Mr. Le for improving bilateral relations when they spoke at the dinner at the Mayflower Hotel Tuesday.
Mr. Le, Vietnams first envoy to the United States since the war, is due to return home this weekend.
He arrived in Washington in February 1995 to open a Vietnamese liaison office and became the fully accredited ambassador in May 1997.
Before that he was Vietnams ambassador to the United Nations.

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