Hu considers Japan visit
TOKYO — Chinese President Hu Jintao is considering a visit to Tokyo around April next year, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao told a Japanese lawmaker visiting Beijing, Kyodo news agency reported yesterday.
The visit would be the latest sign of warming ties between the two Asian giants, long at odds over a range of issues, especially Junichiro Koizumi’s visits as prime minister to a war shrine seen by many in Asia as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism.
Mr. Wen told former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori that Mr. Hu was considering a spring visit, saying it would be good if the trip took place around the time of the cherry blossom season, Kyodo said.
Disneyland accused of labor abuses
HONG KONG — Police arrested two protesters during a parade at Hong Kong Disneyland after they lifted banners accusing the Walt Disney Co. of labor abuses in China, police said yesterday.
The two men, identified only by the surnames Yau and Lai, disrupted the parade as they scuffled with park workers who tried to stop them, police spokeswoman Celia Tam said.
Hong Kong’s Apple Daily newspaper reported yesterday that the banners said, “Disney exploits Chinese labor.”
Arroyo ally faces impeachment charge
MANILA — An ally of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo faces impeachment over charges he offered bribes to seal a $330 million telecom deal with a Chinese firm.
The bribery scandal has dogged Mrs. Arroyo since July and threatens to split her government, but the president was not directly implicated during a Senate inquiry this week.
A former economic planning secretary and a losing bidder for the deal accused Benjamin Abalos, head of the Commission of Elections and a golfing companion of Mrs. Arroyo’s husband, of offering them bribes to favor a bid by China’s ZTE Corp.
Ruling party leader resigns
TAIPEI — The chairman of Taiwan‘s governing party resigned yesterday citing differences over a proposal to change the island’s name, less than a week after he was charged with corruption.
Yu Shyi-kun, a former prime minister, pledged last week to step down upon his indictment on graft and forgery charges along with two other Democratic Progressive Party heavyweights.
A strong independence advocate, Mr. Yu suggested changing the island’s official name from “the Republic of China” to “Taiwan” in a resolution to be discussed at a party congress on Sunday.
Call to remove DMZ guard posts
SEOUL — South Korea will call for the removal of hundreds of guard posts in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that divides the two Koreas at a summit of their leaders next week, a leading daily reported yesterday.
The 150-mile-long DMZ is one of the most heavily armed borders of the world with more than 1 million troops stationed on either side of the buffer zone.
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun will propose removing 100 South Korean and 280 North Korean guard posts set up in the 2.5-mile-wide DMZ after the cease-fire in their 1950-53 fratricidal war, the JoongAng Ilbo quoted a senior administration official as saying.
From wire dispatches and staff reports