- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 14, 2005

CHINA

Japan’s candidacy to council opposed

BEIJING — China made clear yesterday its intent regarding the aspirations of four countries to become U.N. Security Council members, favoring Brazil, India and Germany but opposing Japan’s candidacy, Foreign Ministry official Qin Gang told United Press International.

Mr. Qin had been asked to explain China’s position on the two former Axis partners’ qualifications to become permanent members of the Security Council in light of their perceived contrition for crimes against humanity committed in the 1930s and 1940s.

He repeated remarks directed against Japan by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in New Delhi last weekend. “Only when a country respects history, dares to be responsible for its past, and is able to win trust from Asian peoples can it play a greater role in international affairs,” he said.

Sino-Japanese ties dating back to 1972 are at an all-time low after protests, vandalism and calls for boycotts of Japanese products in the past two weeks.

PHILIPPINES

Arroyo demands list of known ‘hired guns’

MANILA — Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered the military yesterday to compile a list of all known hired gunmen as part of a crackdown after the slaying of a former congressman.

Mrs. Arroyo condemned the killing of ex-legislator Henry Lanot. “I want the authorities to leave no stone unturned in bringing the perpetrators, including the mastermind, to justice,” she said.

Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders said a day earlier after a fact-finding visit that the Philippines, after Iraq, is the world’s most dangerous country for journalists because attackers are rarely punished.

Jean Francois Julliard, a representative of the Paris-based group, said more journalists are killed in the Philippines because of a widespread gun culture and because of the judicial system’s failure to take action against the killers. It listed six slain Philippine journalists last year and two so far this year.

INDONESIA

11 rumbling volcanos put under close watch

JAKARTA — Scientists put 11 volcanoes under close watch yesterday after a series of powerful quakes awoke intense subterranean forces and increased the chances of a major eruption.

As tens of thousands spent a third night in temporary camps after fleeing the slopes of Mount Talang on Sumatra, where hot ash has been raining down since Monday, more volcanoes rumbled to life.

Late Wednesday, Anak Krakatau — “child” of the legendary Krakatoa that blew itself apart in 1883 in one of the worst-ever natural disasters — was put on alert status amid warnings of poison-gas emissions. A similar warning was issued earlier for Tangkuban Perahu, near the west Java city of Bandung, which will host more than 50 heads of state next week at a summit of Asian and African leaders.

Weekly notes

China specialist Joseph Donovan will be appointed deputy chief of mission to the U.S. Embassy in Japan, said U.S. administration and diplomatic sources, Japan’s Kyodo News reported from Washington. The appointment of Mr. Donovan, director of the Chinese and Mongolian Affairs Office at the State Department, is to help new Ambassador Thomas Schieffer, who has little experience in Asia, the sources said. … A 21-year-old woman has been infected by both the deadly HIV/AIDS virus and bird flu, the first such case in Vietnam, health officials said yesterday. The latest tally brings to 41 the number of patients diagnosed with the H5N1 bird flu virus in Vietnam since December, 16 of whom have died.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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