- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 13, 2005

JAPAN

Tokyo, U.S. at odds on military air base

TOKYO — Talks between Japan and the United States failed yesterday to resolve disagreement over the relocation of a U.S. air base in Okinawa, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said.

Richard Lawless, deputy undersecretary of defense for Asia and the Pacific, and Japanese defense chief Yoshinori Ono negotiated for two days over relocating helicopter operations from Futenma air base, epicenter of Okinawan protests over the U.S. military presence.

Japan suggested moving the helicopter functions to another U.S. base, Camp Schwab, after a proposal to build an offshore island on a coral reef ran into opposition from protesters and environmentalists, but Ambassador Thomas Schieffer repeated Washington’s opposition in an interview published yesterday in the mass-circulation Yomiuri newspaper.

CHINA

Beijing to mark Taiwan’s 1945 return

BEIJING — China, asserting its claim to Taiwan, for the first time will mark the anniversary of the island’s return to Chinese rule this month with leaders attending a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, an official said yesterday.

Communist China had never celebrated the Oct. 25 anniversary because doing so would complicate its claim that the Communist Red Army, not the Nationalists, won the eight-year war against Japan.

SOUTH KOREA

Salary gap rises between the sexes

SEOUL — The salary gap between men and women, especially white-collar workers, has been increasing in South Korea.

A government report reveals that the disparity in pay has grown in the past five years, Channel NewsAsia reported yesterday. Monthly salaries for South Korean men climbed by an average $1,400, and the rise in women’s wages averaged $840 in that period.

In electronics, communications, automobiles and construction, women in white-collar jobs earn about $1,600 a month less than men.

Sohn Young-joo, secretary-general of Korean Women Workers Associations United, said: “Most women start from low-paying positions, and even after proving themselves, they are less likely to get promoted.”

Weekly notes

The United States will give impoverished Laos $3.4 million to fight deadly bird flu, including money for rapid-response teams to swoop on outbreaks in the jungle-rich country. Details were announced during a visit to Hanoi by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt, who is leading a fact-finding mission in the region. … Dozens of people were hurt yesterday in clashes between student activists and Philippine riot police who used a fire hose to break up the protest near the presidential palace in Manila. Protests against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who weathered an impeachment attempt in September, have turned more violent since her government took a tough line against rallying without a permit.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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