Japan said yesterday it wanted Russia to return all four Kuril islands, snubbing Moscow's renewed talk of returning two of them to end the dispute that has prevented the countries from formally ending World War II. \nPrime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said "Japan cannot be content" with the return of two of the four islands just off northern Japan, which were seized by Soviet troops in 1945. \n"We maintain the policy of concluding a peace treaty only after clarifying who owns the [all] four of the islands," Koizumi told reporters. \nThe government said Koizumi would raise the Kuril dispute with Russian President Vladimir Putin if they meet on the sidelines of a summit of the APEC forum in Chile this weekend. \nChief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said "Japan and Russia have a common policy" that they will conclude a peace treaty by resolving the status of all four islands. "We have not changed our stance of continuing strenuous negotiations in accordance with this policy," Hosoda, the top government spokesman, told a news conference. \nForeign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said it was not appropriate to react to each remark by Russian leaders over the dispute. \nThe renewed focus on the peace deal comes amid Japanese efforts to outbid China for a new oil pipeline from Siberia that could quench Asia's growing energy thirst. \nThe issue of the Kurils, whose Japanese residents were expelled after the Soviet takeover, has prevented the two nations from signing a post-war peace treaty and restricted Japanese investment in Russia. Putin said Monday he was ready to revive peace talks with Japan on the islands -- Habomai, Shikotan, Etorofu and Kunashiri. \n"We have always implemented and will continue to implement our [Soviet era] obligations -- especially ratified documents -- but of course only to the extent to which our partners are ready to implement these very same agreements," Putin said in televised remarks. \nHis comments referred to a 1956 declaration signed between Moscow and Tokyo in which Japan would receive two of the four islands in exchange for signing a peace treaty. \nPutin is due to visit Japan next year to commemorate the signing of the first treaty between Japan and tsarist Russia 150 years ago. \nKoizumi has demonstrated his determination for Japan to resume control of the islands, sailing near Habomai in September after ignoring Russian warnings that the trip would hamper talks on a bilateral peace treaty.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread