Japan is moving to expedite negotiations on a peace treaty with North Korea, but it should be in no hurry at all. Famine-stricken North Korea has often asked foreign countries for food aid, and Japan has obliged by supplying a large amount of rice. There is no way of knowing if the Japanese-supplied rice has been distributed fairly among the North Koreans.

It is conceivable that a small elite group of the ruling Workers’ Party has received generous supplies of rice and that most people still remain hungry. If so, Japan should not continue giving food aid to North Korea. I believe that if they are thankful for Japanese aid, North Koreans should provide information about the distribution of rice among the public.

Some North Korean leaders have reportedly described rice from Japan as “tribute.” This is outrageous. Japan does not have a tributary relationship with North Korea and under no circumstances should be seen as paying tribute to that country.

North Korea sent spy boats into Japanese territorial waters a few years ago. Japanese patrol boats chased them out, but failed to catch them. One Japanese politician said he was glad that Japanese authorities did not catch the spy boats, because otherwise grave international trouble could have ensued. It was an absurd remark, to say the least.

In addition, North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan and into the Pacific. Furthermore, a dozen Japanese have allegedly been abducted to North Korea. Pyongyang, however, refuses to give details of the abductions. The kidnappings are probably only a minor affair for North Korea, whose agents once killed a high-ranking South Korean official with a bomb in Myanmar. For Japanese, however, these kidnappings are unforgivable crimes.

Japanese politicians and government officials, winking at the alleged abductions, are drumming up support for friendship with North Korea.

Decades ago, some Japanese officials recommended that Japan expedite normalization of diplomatic relations with China to facilitate that secretive country’s entry into the international community. Under strong pressure from Beijing, Japan severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan and signed a peace treaty with the communist Chinese government.

The treaty says that neither Japan nor China will seek hegemony in Asia, and yet China has been building up its military power with aircraft carriers, warplanes, missiles and other weapons systems, posing a military threat to Taiwan and Japan. In addition, China has a giant army. Not surprisingly for a communist state, China has completely disregarded Japan’s earlier wishes to bring it into the international community.

Japan could face a similar situation if it were to normalize relations with North Korea. We should also recall that the former Soviet Union seized the Northern Territories and the Kuril Islands from Japan after the end of World War II, and Russia has yet to return them. Japan would gain little from normalization of ties with North Korea.

I believe that the Republican candidate will win the U.S. presidential election this fall and that he should hold frank discussions with Japan and South Korea on security in Northeast Asia.

Japan has no independent defense system. It is essential that Japanese wake up to the need to defend their own nation. Few Japanese are willing to risk their lives to fight foreign aggressors, and most are content to depend on U.S. military forces for their protection.

At the Group of Eight summit in Okinawa, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the U.S. should abandon its national missile defense plan, echoing Chinese and North Korean views. This is illogical. China and North Korea are intent on attacking the U.S. mainland if an opportunity arises. NMD grew out of fears of possible Chinese and North Korean attacks. It is a result – not a cause – of military tensions. Cause and effect are often confused in the communists’ strange logic.

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