- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 11, 2003

JAPAN

Rightists send bullets to ‘dovish’ politicians

TOKYO — A senior Japanese politician regarded as dovish on North Korea said yesterday that a bullet had been sent to him in a letter addressed to his office in the second threat in two days against government officials.

“I don’t know why this happened. I am saddened that such a force exists in our nation when we are trying to build a peace-minded country,” Hiromu Nonaka, 77, former secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, told reporters. The lawmaker announced earlier this week he would retire at the next election.

The bullet arrived in a white envelope, with the sender claiming to be from the Kenkoku Giyugun (Nation-Building Volunteer Army), Mr. Nonaka said.

CHINA

Pentagon assessment irritates Beijing

BEIJING — The People’s Liberation Army Daily lashed out yesterday at “groundless” conclusions in the annual U.S. report to Congress on China’s military power, saying it “wantonly misrepresents” Chinese policy.

In an article published in the state-run daily and repeated as the main opinion item in the English-language China Daily, the commentary said the Pentagon got it all wrong. The papers denied China was bent on building its military capability, saying the country has no tradition of conquest.

PHILIPPINES

Bush to visit ex-base during Far East tour

MANILA — President Bush is to make an eight-hour visit to the Philippines on Oct. 18 as part of an Asian swing, Foreign Secretary Blas Ople said.

Mr. Bush is to fly to the former U.S. Clark Air Force Base north of Manila, then hold talks with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at the Malacanang Palace with the war on terrorism expected to be high on the agenda, Mr. Ople told reporters.

Weekly notes …

One of the most bitterly contested pieces of land in the Pacific during World War II has lost its American war hero’s name, a Solomon Islands government minister said yesterday in Honiara, the capital. Henderson Field, named after an American war hero of the Battle of Midway, is now Honiara International Airport. The decision took more than five years to reach because of pressure from the U.S. government and American veterans groups, said Daniel Fa’afunua, minister for communication, aviation and meteorology. … Indonesia will carry out a one-month evaluation before deciding whether to extend martial law imposed in May on war-torn Aceh province, top security minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said yesterday. The government could extend the status “if it is the best thing to do to maintain operations” against the Free Aceh Movement or replace it with a civil emergency, he told reporters after a Cabinet meeting in Jakarta.

From wire services and staff reports

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