- The Washington Times - Friday, January 2, 2004

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world

Daily Yomiuri

Vote-buying scandal

TOKYO — Liberal Democratic Party member Masanori Arai is the second legislator to be arrested in connection with allegations of electoral irregularities since the House of Representatives election.

Members of leading opposition party, Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), also are suspected of electoral fraud.

It looks as if the two parties were also competing to see which could commit the most irregularities. This is extremely deplorable in that the lower house election was seen as a prelude to the emergence of a two-party system.

The Daily Telegraph

On President Bush and the war on terrorism:

LONDON — Following September 11, 2001, George W. Bush warned that the war on terrorists and their sponsors would be long and of global reach. Persistent pursuit of such a goal was always going to be hard to maintain, whether because of the softer options offered the electorate by the political opposition or through bureaucratic inertia. Sensing this, two neo-conservatives, David Frum and Richard Perle, have issued a renewed wake-up call in a book to be published tomorrow.

“We can feel the will to win ebbing in Washington,” they write in “An End to Evil.” “We sense the reversion to the bad old habits of complacency and denial.” They remind their readers that the likes of Osama bin Laden require another spectacular act of mass murder to justify their propaganda and conclude that there is no middle way between victory and holocaust. …

Corriere Della Sera

On criticism of Italy in the European media:

MILAN — Two European papers, the Financial Times and Le Monde, speak of Italy and of its government in spitefully negative terms, in their editions of Monday and Tuesday.

The first asks if the laws asked for by Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi (in particular the one on false accounting) have not contributed to the seriousness of the Parmalat case.

The second lists Mr. Berlusconi’s mistakes during his tenure as European Union president.

It is certainly true that the conflict of interest and the tailor-made laws passed by the Berlusconi government represent an ugly page in Italy’s history.

It is also true that the boasting, the jokes and the pats on the back belong more to the style of a salesman and a soccer supporter than to that of a statesman….

If (the newspapers) want to do Mr. Berlusconi a favor, they should continue in this way. They will guarantee him the support of the little nationalism that still exists in this country.

Tagesspiegel

On diplomatic fallout of Iran’s devastating earthquake:

BERLIN — In times of disaster, the world shows its good side.

People stand together in need — everyone is offering Iran help after the devastating earthquake. …

Of course, rich countries can do so particularly effectively, all problems aside.

Even the Americans are taking part, although for two decades they have had no diplomatic relations with the country, which President Bush counts among the “rogues” — and their military aircraft are being allowed to land.

In an emergency, tensions are forgotten, so it seems. Moderate tones can be heard from Tehran, too.

Asahi Shimbun

On mad cow disease in the United States:

TOKYO — The repercussions from the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the United States have been felt around the world, with many countries suspending imports of U.S. beef.

In Japan’s case, the United States is a chief beef supplier along with Australia. U.S. beef accounts for 30 percent of all beef consumed in Japan. If the import ban continues, beef prices will likely soar. …

It will not be possible to resume U.S. beef imports while consumer anxiety lingers.

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