2014年07月07日

Japan to appoint minister to manage new self-defence policy

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Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie leave Tokyo on Sunday for their week-long visit. Photograph: Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images

Japan to appoint minister to manage new self-defence policy

Kosuke Takahashi, Tokyo - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

07 July 2014

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced plans to establish a new cabinet post to implement Japan's new security policy of collective self-defence.

Abe said on 6 July that the new minister will be in charge of making the significant legislative adjustments that are needed to allow the country to exercise the right to self-defence. Japan defines this right as the ability to come to the aid of allied forces that are under attack by a third party.

"I plan to introduce broad legislation collectively, which covers issues ranging from 'grey-zone' contingencies to collective self-defence," Abe told reporters in Tokyo on the same day he left for a tour of Oceania.

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posted by Kosuke at 23:47| Comment(0) | Jane's Defence Weekly

2014年07月05日

Who is North Korea’s So Tae Ha?

Toyo Keizai started English-language news service. And they translated my Japanese-language story into English. I helped edit this.

Many thanks to Michael Madden-san for giving me precious comments.

So Tae Ha, chairperson of North Korea's special investigation committee to look into the status of the Japanese abductees, was one of the officials who replaced Ryu Kyong, known as "Mr. X", after Ryu's dismissal and execution in 2011.


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July 4, abductees families Giving a petition to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Photo: Reuters / Afro)

Who is North Korea’s So Tae Ha?

Special report

Kosuke Takahashi:2014年7月5日

Who is So Tae Ha, the chairman of North Korea’s the special investigative committee to look into the fate of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korean agents decades ago? His titles, as publicized through North Korea, are "Counselor for Security at the National Defense Commission (NDC)"and "Vice Minister of the State Security Ministry". The NDC is North Korea’s most powerful state entity, and the State Security Ministry is a secret police force.

What is already known to all experts on North Korea both domestic and abroad, is that So is from the Korean People’s Army (KPA). Michael Madden, who operates the "North Korea Leadership Watch" specialist web site focusing on the movements of the North Korean leadership, said that So was one of the officials who replaced Ryu Kyong after Ryu had been dismissed from his post as Vice Minister of the State Security Ministry and executed in 2011. Ryu is known as the "Mr. X", who acted as negotiator with Hitoshi Tanaka, then Chief of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, at the 2002 Japan-North Korea summit.

Madden also said that the "Vice Minister" title at the State Security Ministry may be no more than a title used externally in the media or during diplomatic exchanges, and may not reflect reality. Furthermore, just as with other leading members of the State Security Ministry, So has a KPA military rank, but he doesn't sit in the chain of command of the KPA General Staff or Ministry of the People's Armed Forces.

At a press conference on July 3, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that So’s title as Counselor in charge of Security at the National Defense Commission was "created out of necessity in order to name him as chairman of the Special Investigative Committee". He said "[So] will be in charge of the country’s security issues at a vice minister level".

So is around 70 years old

So is one of approximately eight NDC councilors, which is a powerful position usually held concurrent to another job. He is most likely part of a group of senior officials who are members of what are sometimes called sangmujo, which First Secretary Kim Jong Un inherited from his father Secretary General Kim Jong Il.

It appears that this inner circle of top aides to the national leader will lead the actual unit tasked with the special duty of investigating the Japanese abduction issue. The sangmujo handles the execution of special missions. It is typically isolated from other senior cadres to fulfill their missions. It has a lot of power to mobilize various resources such as personnel and finances to complete their tasks.

Among the Japanese, there is actually one man who has met So Tae Ha. It is Kenji Fujimoto, who worked as late Kim Jong Il's personal chef. In an interview on July 4, Fujimoto said he met So in 1995 at Mokrangwan, a guest house in the center of Pyongyang. He said he had “absolutely no idea” about So’s position at that time. He said So is currently around 70 years old.




Here is a good analysis by Michael Madden.

Special Investigative Committee Formed Under National Defense Commission

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Here is North Korea's announcement.

DPRK to Conduct All-inclusive and Comprehensive Probe into All Japanese in Country

Pyongyang, July 4, 2014 12:30 KST (KCNA) − The DPRK organized the "Special Investigation Committee" which will start an all-inclusive and comprehensive investigation into all Japanese residing in the DPRK from July 4, 2014 under an agreement reached between the governments of the DPRK and Japan.

The authority of the committee is that it will be invested with special mandate from the National Defence Commission of the DPRK to investigate all institutions and mobilize relevant institutions and persons concerned for the investigation any time when necessary.

The committee will be staffed with about 30 officials of relevant institutions including the Ministry of State Security, the Ministry of People's Security, the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces and people's power bodies of the DPRK and has the following four panels in Pyongyang and branches in relevant cities and counties in all provinces.

Panels include a panel for remains of Japanese, a panel for remaining Japanese and Japanese spouses, a panel for abducted Japanese and a panel for missing Japanese.

Branches will be formed with officials of relevant institutions including the Ministry of Security and people's power bodies.

Key members of the special investigation committee are as follows:

Chairman: So Tae Ha, counselor for security of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and vice-minister of State Security.

Vice-Chairman: Kim Myong Chol, counselor of the Ministry of State Security

Vice-Chairman: Pak Yong Sik, department director of the Ministry of People's Security

Chief of the panel for remains of Japanese: Kim Hyon Chol, department director of the Ministry of Land and Environment Protection

Chief of the panel for remaining Japanese and Japanese spouses: Ri Ho Rim, secretary general of the Central Committee of the Red Cross Society of the DPRK

Chief of the panel for abducted Japanese: Kang Song Nam, department director of the Ministry of State Security

Chief of the panel for missing Japanese: Pak Yong Sik, department director of People's Security (He also holds the post of vice-chairman of the committee)

Chiefs of branches: vice-directors of provincial, city and county departments of the Ministry of Security

The committee shall operate under a well-regulated command system of the Center.

Not just one field concerned should be prioritized but all fields should be investigated in a simultaneous and parallel manner and the investigation will be conducted by way of holding interview, hearing testimony and touring the relevant field.

To ensure objectivity and transparency of the investigation, personnel concerned of the Japanese side will be allowed to visit the DPRK at a time deemed necessary.

The orientation of activities of panels is as follows:

Panel for remains of Japanese

It will take measures concerning various places where remains of Japanese are buried across the territory of the DPRK and conduct field survey and trial excavation on the basis of the existing information, testimonies, etc. and consult and take steps for handling remains.

- Panel for remaining Japanese and Japanese spouses

Confirmation will be made through register books of citizens kept by people's security institutions and relevant people's committees and through information provided by those concerned and hearing testimonies made by witnesses, and measures will be taken.

Panel for abducted Japanese

It will reinvestigate the abductees recognized by the Japanese government and confirm all records of each person from his or her entry.

- Panel for missing Japanese

The entry into the DPRK of those who were reported missing and their identities will be confirmed by use of register books of citizens kept by the institutions of people's security while taking the information provided by the Japanese side for reference.
posted by Kosuke at 19:30| Comment(0) | Toyo Keizai

2014年07月04日

Update: Japan delays C-2 service entry after door issue in testing

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Update: Japan delays C-2 service entry after door issue in testing

Kosuke Takahashi, Tokyo and James Hardy, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

03 July 2014

Japan is delaying the introduction into service of the Kawasaki C-2 transport aircraft to investigate why a door broke during pressurisation testing in January.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 4 July that it had decided to postpone the introduction of the Kawasaki C-2 transport aircraft into Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) service after an aft cargo door failed during flight testing at Gifu airbase.

Hirotaka Nose, director of the aircraft division at the MoD, said at a press conference that the Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI) found there were technical gaps between the results of a computer simulation and those of the ground tests, that led to the damage of the cargo door and the rear fuselage.

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タグ:C-2 TRDI
posted by Kosuke at 21:57| Comment(0) | Jane's Defence Weekly