- The Washington Times - Friday, October 11, 2002

Kidnapped Japanese to visit homeland

TOKYO After nearly a quarter-century, five Japanese abducted by North Korea will be allowed to return home briefly next week, but without their children, officials and relatives of the victims announced.

The five are among at least 13 Japanese kidnapped by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s and taken to the communist country to train spies in Japanese language and culture. The five are the only ones known to be alive.

The two men and three women, now in their mid-40s will be allowed to return Tuesday for one or two weeks but won't be permitted to bring their children, angering some survivors' families. "Leaving behind the kids my grandchildren is like holding hostages," said Tamotsu Chimura, father of Yasushi Chimura, who was abducted in 1978.

Vietnamese minorities will get land to farm

HANOI Vietnam will grant land for farming and housing to ethnic minorities in its Central Highlands.

State-run Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper cited a government decision this week that each minority family would be given at least one hectare, or two-and-a-half acres, of farmland in the mountains; a half-hectare of single-crop rice field; or a third of a hectare of double-crop rice field. A single-crop field produces one harvest a year.

No reasons were given for the decision, signed by Prime Minister Phan Van Khai. It also provides about $260 per hectare for clearing the land for farming. Each family will also get more than 4,000 square feet of land for housing.

Russian mother denied asylum in Australia

SYDNEY, Australia A 29-year-old Russian woman detained as an illegal immigrant can be removed from Australia after a judge ruled yesterday that the interests of her 9-month-old son do not outweigh the Migration Act.

The court was told that the mother fled Russia in 1995 with a false passport after witnessing a murder and being raped by police and security guards. She is being held in the detention center while her son lives with her former partner, the baby's father, who is an Australian citizen.

Voicing "great sympathy for the mother and child," Justice Richard Chisholm said, "I am driven by the law not to make the orders sought by the mother." He said granting the interim injunction would undermine the operation of the Migration Act.

Weekly notes

Nong Duc Manh, general secretary of Vietnam's Communist Party, met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow yesterday, and both promised to work to improve bilateral trade ties and diplomatic dialogue. Mr. Manh, paying his first visit to Russia since taking office in April 2001, said he was happy to visit "a great country that has helped our people so much." China expressed "serious concern" over press reports in Bangladesh this week that identified Yin Chi-ming, heading a Republic of China (Taiwan) business delegation as "vice economic affairs minister." The Chinese Embassy in Dhaka said: "The People's Republic of China is the only legal government of the whole of China and its legal representative in the international arena."

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