Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 03/06/08

DE RUEHKO #0597/01 0660814
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E.O. 12958: N/A



(1) Aso proposes a "redefinition" of the Japan-U.S. alliance in
speech at Ocean symposium (Yomiuri)

(2) Government launches discussion on emissions-trading system under
Kantei, with eye on G-8 Summit (Yomiuri)

(3) Global warming greenhouse gas emissions cut according to
industrial sector: Government to present to UN set of proposals for
post-Kyoto Protocol framework (Nikkei)

(4) Toying with nomination of BOJ governor an act of folly (Nikkei)

(5) Editorial: Is that the way to protect nature by attacking a
whaler? (Mainichi)

(6) Okinawan people's rally to protest crimes committed by U.S.
servicemen: Prefectural Assembly not to take part due to incomplete
deliberations on petition by U.S. military bases committee (Ryukyu

(7) Sex crime rate up 24 PERCENT in U.S. military, 2,947 incidents
reported: Pentagon (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(8) Okinawa Human Rights Association protests series of crimes
committed by U.S. military personnel (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(Corrected copy): Poll: 44 PERCENT hope for DPJ victory in next
general election (Mainichi)


(1) Aso proposes a "redefinition" of the Japan-U.S. alliance in
speech at Ocean symposium

Yomiuri Online (Full)
March 6, 2008, 12:30

(Nagahara, Washington)

A symposium titled "The Japan-U.S. Sea Power Dialogue" started in
Washington on the evening of March 5, local time, to discuss how
Japan and the U.S. should cooperate in dealing with such ocean
issues as vicious assaults by privates, smuggling of weapons and
drugs, as well as disputes between nations over vested interests.
The symposium is held for three days under the co-sponsorship of the
Ocean Policy Research Foundation and the Center for a New American
Security, with the support of Yomiuri Shimbun).

Delivering a speech in the symposium, former Foreign Minister Taro
Aso of the Liberal Democratic Party said: "We are in the era of
increasing uncertainty in the ocean," citing disputes over vested
interests. He then proposed that in order to properly deal with
various marine problems, the two major sea powers in the Pacific
Ocean - Japan and the U.S. - should "redefine" their alliance and
aim at forming an "integrated sea power."

As specific measures to redefine the Japan-U.S. alliance, Aso
suggested that the two countries should share their knowledge about
marine science, natural resource development, and environmental
protection, in addition to conventional cooperation on the military

TOKYO 00000597 002 OF 010

front, and also strengthen cooperation at the private-sector level.
He also emphasized that Japan and the U.S. should take the lead in
forming a cooperative structure that also includes such countries as
India and Australia.

In the debate session, Michael Green, former senior director for
Asian affairs at the National Security Council (NSC), referred to
the temporary suspension of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, and stressed the need for
Japan to make efforts to be able to continue its mission even after
the new Antiterrorism Special Measures Law loses effect next
January. Aso said: "It is Japan's responsibility to prevent the same
thing from happening again."

(2) Government launches discussion on emissions-trading system under
Kantei, with eye on G-8 Summit

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
March 6, 2008

The government called the first meeting of a council of experts
tasked with discussing global warming at the Prime Minister's Office
(Kantei) yesterday. In it, the government launched a discussion to
chart a strategy to fight global warming under the Kantei in
preparations for the Lake Toya Summit in Hokkaido (G-8 Summit), in
which environmental issues will take center stage. The panel is
expected to hold in-depth discussions on whether Japan should create
an emissions-trading system, like the European Union (EU).

The government set up the council as an advisory panel to Prime
Minister Fukuda to help him take the initiative in addressing the
issue of global warming.

The panel is composed of 12 members, including representatives from
the electricity and steel industries, both of which are major
greenhouse gas emitters, and academics. Former Nippon Keidanren
(Japan Business Federation) Chairman Hiroshi Okuda, senior advisor
to Toyota Motor Corp., assumed the chairmanship by the
recommendation of the prime minister. The appointment was based on
the judgment that "Mr. Okuda has great influence in economic
circles, which holds the key to promoting measures against global
warming," noted an official in the Kantei.

The panel is apparently aiming to draw attention from the public, in
a sense, as shown by putting in Junko Edahiro, who translated An
Inconvenient Truth, a book authored by former Vice President Al

In the first meeting, the prime minister said: "Since this is an
issue that will affect the lifestyles of the people, I want you to
conduct discussions in a way understandable to the public." High on
the agenda in the panel are: (1) specific measures to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions; and (2) international cooperation to
reduce worldwide gas emissions.

On whether to introduce an emissions-trading system, a tug-of-war is
going on between the Environment Ministry, which is eager about the
system, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which is
calling for a cautious approach. In its next session in early April,
the panel will intensively discuss this issue.

Chairman Okuda indicated in a press conference after the first

TOKYO 00000597 003 OF 010

meeting that Japan should set out a direction by the time of the G-8
Summit, citing the efforts being made by the EU and the U.S.

In the meeting, however, Nippon Steel Corp. President Akio Mimura
said: "Forming a post-Kyoto framework (beyond the 2012 expiration of
the protocol) should come first before discussion on an
emissions-trading system," indicating a cautious view. The panel
will also discuss the innovation of technologies to bring about a
low carbon society as proposed by Prime Minister Fukuda in the World
Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos in January. In the meeting
yesterday, participants decided to establish a subcommittee to
discuss the challenge of forming environmental model cities and a
low-carbon society, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas
emissions by using such natural energy as sunlight and wind power.

Continued talks needed to reduce gas emissions


The Kyoto Protocol obligates industrialized countries to cut
greenhouse gas emissions during the 2008-2012 timeframe. However,
the U.S., the world's largest emitter of global warming gases, is
outside this framework. In addition, China is not required to reduce
its gas emissions.

Unless a post-Kyoto framework involves all major gas emitters, it
will be difficult to effectively contain global warming. It is now
significant to set up a Lake Toya process and continue discussions.

A preparatory period is needed for each nation, so in order to
introduce a new climate regime in 2013, the goal is to conclude an
agreement by the end of 2009. The main stage for the negotiations
will be the next session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. An annual
COP session brings together the environment ministers of about 190
countries, so it is not easy to solicit agreement on any issues.

About 20 countries - such emerging countries as China and India,
both of which are becoming major gas emitters, South Korea,
Indonesia and other countries, besides the Group of Eight countries
- have discharged about 80 PERCENT of total gas emissions across
the world. Forming an agreement among them might be a shortcut to
bringing about an agreement in the COP. Specific tasks will be
discussed at the G-8 environment ministerial in May and other
meetings. Japan's leadership will be tested in such meetings.

(3) Global warming greenhouse gas emissions cut according to
industrial sector: Government to present to UN set of proposals for
post-Kyoto Protocol framework

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Full)
March 6, 2008

The government will submit as early as this week a set of proposals
on talks to create a new framework for cutting global warming
greenhouse gas emissions to be adopted starting in 2013, replacing
the Kyoto Protocol. One proposal is to adopt, when working out a
country-specific goal for greenhouse gas emissions cuts, a method of
calculating amounts of global warming greenhouse gas emissions that
each industrial sector, such as the steel and power industries, can
cut and then add them up according to sector -- the so-called
bottom-up method. It will also ask the UN to set up a taskforce to

TOKYO 00000597 004 OF 010

examine the proposed calculation method. The government will aim at
securing leadership in post-Kyoto Protocol framework talks.

This proposal is the embodiment of a set of measures to combat
climate change, which Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda revealed at the
World Economic Forum (Davos Conference) in January. The government
will present this proposal to the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change as early as this week. It wants to set the direction to a
certain degree by gaining support from the G-8 participants in the
July summit.

The showcase of the set of proposals Japan will make is the
bottom-up method of working out a country-by-country goal of
achieving greenhouse gas emissions cuts by totaling the emissions
amount that can be achieved by each industrial sector.
Sector-specific goals would be set for about eight sectors and
fields, including the large energy-consumer industry, such as
chemical and cement industries, and the livelihood-connected sector,
such as households and offices. The upper limit of emissions would
be set with each sector's production volume and the degree of its
introduction of energy-saving technology into consideration.

Since the Kyoto Protocol has mandated all industry sectors to
uniformly cut carbon dioxide emissions, industrial circles were
strongly discontent, noting that industries that are highly advanced
in terms of energy conservation are disadvantageous, because room
for additional cuts for them is small. Japan's proposal this time
has given consideration for such opinion.

Regarding the new method, the government will seek the establishment
of a subcommittee consisting of private-sector companies, such as
utility companies, and experts of the International Energy Agency
(IEA), under the post-Kyoto Protocol negotiations working group. The
proposed panel would be responsible for working out a concrete
method and schedule.

The government's proposals will also include moving the amount of
global warming greenhouse gas emissions into the minus column over
the next 10 to 20 years as well as to improve the world's energy
efficiency by 30 PERCENT by 2020. In order to have developing
countries cut greenhouse gas emissions, it will also propose
categorizing developing countries into those that need assistance
from industrialized countries and those that do not need such
assistance. Another proposal is sharing a long-term goal of halving
the world's greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and international
cooperation for environmental technologies.

(4) Toying with nomination of BOJ governor an act of folly

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Abridged slightly)
March 6, 2008

By Naoaki Okabe, Nikkei executive editor

Under the divided Diet, Japan remains unable to determine who the
next Bank of Japan governor will be. Governor Toshihiko Fukui's term
of office expires in less than two weeks at a time when global
financial markets are in turmoil. This unusual situation could
undermine Japan's international credibility. The question of
nominating the next BOJ governor must be resolved early by
separating it from politics. Doing so is the responsibility of all

TOKYO 00000597 005 OF 010

What would happen if the post of the BOJ governor remains unfilled?
With the deadline just around the corner, we are now forced to give
serious thought to a worst-case scenario. The government first
presents its personnel plan, then comes a hearing of views of the
nominated governor and deputy governors, followed by votes in
plenary sessions of both chambers of the Diet. A set of Diet
procedures takes time.

Needless to say, vacancy in the governorship is not envisaged under
the Bank of Japan Law (TN: sic). Although the law requires the
executive directors to perform the governor's duties when the posts
of the governor and deputy governors are vacant, views are split
over the scope of duties to be performed by the executive directors,
such as whether they are allowed to vote in policy board meetings.

Without the governor, the BOJ would become dysfunctional. We are
especially concerned that the BOJ will be left out of the circle of
international cooperation among central banks, which is increasingly
important in dealing with the global financial crisis originated
from the United States, and that the BOJ will become a drag on
international efforts to overcome difficulties.

The United States might slip into recession due to a decline in
consumer spending following the subprime crisis. Combined with
soaring oil prices, its economy might even fall into stagflation.

Although such economies as China and India still remain strong, if
the Unites States fails to stem the crisis, a chain of crises might

Japan is the hardest hit by the world crisis combined with the
weakening dollar. The Japanese stock market has exhibited the
largest decline although the country's losses from the subprime
mortgage have been small. Such results seem to reflect the serious
political risks of Japan, which remains unable to determine the new
BOJ governor.

It is certain that other countries find it difficult to understand
the bickering over the appointment of the new BOJ governor. The
Democratic Party of Japan is opposed to the government's personnel
plan based on the argument that fiscal policy must be separated form
monetary policy, which was prevalent in the era of the former
Finance Ministry. The matter was settled with the establishment of
the Financial Services Agency.

The independence of the central bank has significantly increased
with the amended Bank of Japan Law. The law's Article 4 urges the
BOJ to always maintain close contact with the government in order to
keep its currency and monetary policy in harmony with the
government's economic policy. The independence of currency and
monetary policy goes hand in hand with cooperation with the

Successful candidates must have a comprehensive knowledge of the
market with strong international credibility. Internationally,
former senior Finance Ministry officials seem to fit the job. For
instance, European Central Bank Governor Trichet of France was
director of the Treasury Department and former Deutsche Bundesbank
President Tietmeyer was a Finance Ministry official. In addition,
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Volcker was also a former Treasury
Department bureaucrat.

TOKYO 00000597 006 OF 010

At this point, the ruling and opposition camps must return to the
"starting point" and think hard about the significance of the
central bank. Having the central bank that is independent and highly
dependable is a basic requirement for any mature nation. A huge
capital inflow into the United States beset with an enormous deficit
owed much to international confidence in former FRB Chairman
Greenspan. Deutsche Bundesbank worked so hard to bring stability to
the value of currency that people said that anyone criticizing the
bank would be criticized.

The central bank that is truly dependable is an invaluable national
asset. Today, central banks are in a race of trustworthiness.
Competitiveness also increases with attractiveness to overseas
capital. Forging the trustworthiness of the central bank takes not
only efforts by itself but also by all people, including lawmakers.
Lawmakers are toying with the appointment of a new central bank
governor, which is simply an act of folly.

(5) Editorial: Is that the way to protect nature by attacking a

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
March 5, 2008

Crew members of the Sea Shepherd, the ship of an anti-whaling group
from America, threw bottles of chemicals from their vessel onto the
Japanese whaling research ship Nisshin Maru in the Southern Ocean,
injuring three crew members. Although the Japan Coast Guard has
begun an investigation into the incident as a case of forcefully
hindering the crews duties and inflicting bodily harm, the captain
of the Sea Shepherd has said that the crew will continue its

It goes without saying that used of force on the open sea is
tantamount to terrorism and piracy. Both the Japanese government and
the international community must not overlook such an inhumane act
and should take effective measures. The government should not just
file a pro forma protest and express its displeasure.

The incident involves the question of the international legal order
and the safety of human lives. That should be resolved before
discussing whether whaling should be allowed or not. We can never
condone any act of violence regardless of the views behind them.

What is alarming is that these kinds of obstructionist groups often
intend their performances in order to be provocative and appeal to
their supporters. The environment group wants to turn the research
ship's resistance and evasive action into an attack by the vessel on
their members.

For example, Sea Shepherd members hurled bottles of chemicals into
the whale research vessel Yushin Maru No. 2 and two activists who
intruded into the Japanese ship were temporarily in custody there.
The Sea Shepherd then claimed that the Japanese research vessel had
taken the two members as hostages.

The JCG has maritime safety officials aboard the whale research
ships for the purpose of grasp the situation by gathering
information when research ships are attacked, as well as to preserve
evidence. Such will be key to the investigation of this case.

TOKYO 00000597 007 OF 010

In order to prevent a recurrence, it is necessary to build a
framework of international opposition to and criticism of such
illegal activist groups. Without such an effort, there will be a
repeat of escalating attacks by such organizations. Expressing
strong anger toward the recent incident, the Japanese government
urged Australia, which allows the Sea Shepherd vessel to visit its
ports, and the Netherlands, which allows the vessel to use its
nationality, to take tough response toward the Sea Shepherd's acts.
Although the Australian government is a strong opponent of Japan's
whaling program, its foreign minister released a statement, which
said: "Australia strongly condemns actions by crew members of any
vessel that cause injury to anyone on the high seas."

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) member countries have yet
to reach a consensus (on the question of whether to permit
scientific whaling). But no IWC member allows violent disturbances.
Some anti-whaling countries, though, are believed to indirectly
support anti-whaling organizations.

We stress that we are not criticizing the Sea Shepherd in order to
deny the anti-whalers their arguments. We just can never condone
even indirect support by any anti-whaling country for organizations
that commit violence.

The Japanese government, too, needs to probe into its own argument
in detail and make better efforts to have anti-whaling countries
understand it. Needless to say, the onus is on Tokyo to make further
efforts to reach a compromise solution, while listening to the views
of the anti-whaling countries. The IWC annual convention will take
place in early the summer in Chile. Japan will host the Group of
Eight summit in July at the Lake Toya resort area in Hokkaido.
Attention will be focused on Japan's views even more than ever.

(6) Okinawan people's rally to protest crimes committed by U.S.
servicemen: Prefectural Assembly not to take part due to incomplete
deliberations on petition by U.S. military bases committee

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Full)
March 6, 2008

The U.S. Military Base-related Special Committee (chaired by Seiichi
Oyakawa) of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly yesterday held a
meeting and delivered a petition for holding an Okinawan people's
rally to protest sexual assaults by U.S. servicemen. The panel
stopped short of reaching a conclusion. It will once again hold a
meeting to deliberate on the petition. The likelihood is, however,
another deliberations will not be held before March 23, when the
rally is slated to be held. The Prefectural Assembly will likely
skipping the rally without holding another deliberations on the

Winding up the committee meeting, Oyakawa indicated his view that it
would be impossible to hold another committee meeting, unless there
are prospects for the request to be met with the ruling-party group
becoming positive toward holding another deliberations before the

The opposition party-related group during the meeting sought the
adoption of the petition on the 5th, while the ruling-party group
insisted that they would bring it back to their headquarters. For
this reason, they agreed to hold another session for further
deliberations. A schedule for another deliberations has been left to

TOKYO 00000597 008 OF 010

Oyakawa to work out. Another deliberation will likely be rescheduled
for the week starting on the 17.

The situation is that it will be difficult to unify the views of the
ruling-party group with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the
largest group in the ruling camp, which finds it difficult to take
part in the rally. Since many members of the Okinawan People's
Conference are also cautious about the idea of taking part in the
rally, it is unlikely for the ruling-party group to agree to comply
with the request. In that event, a committee meeting itself will not
be held before the rally. As a result, the petition will be shelved,
and the Prefectural Assembly will give up on participation in the

Governor Nakaima makes it a condition for the Prefectural Assembly
to take part in the rally on a non-partisan basis. If the
Prefectural Assembly cannot participate in the rally, the governor
will also unlikely take part.

(7) Sex crime rate up 24 PERCENT in U.S. military, 2,947 incidents
reported: Pentagon

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 1) (Full)
March 6, 2008

Sumiyo Henna, Ryukyu Shimpo correspondent, Los Angeles

The rate of sexual crimes involving U.S. service members around the
world in 2006 showed a sharp increase of 24 PERCENT over the
preceding year, the U.S. Department of Defense noted in a recently
released report. In 2006, there were 2,947 incidents (rapes and
attempted rapes included), an increase of 573 from 2,374 in 2005.
There was also an increase in the number of cases where victims have
withdrawn their complaints as in the case of a recent junior high
school girl rape in Okinawa. In 2006, there were 670 withdrawn
cases, a twofold increase of 327 over the preceding year.

The report was submitted by an undersecretary of defense to the
Armed Services Committees of the Senate and the House of
Representatives in the U.S. Congress in March 2007. The Pentagon
compiled sexual crime reports from the Army, Air Force, Navy, and
Marine Corps. The Pentagon report shows no breakdown of incidents in
and outside the United States.

In the United States, the problem surfaced with a number of
complaints from women who had been sexually assaulted by U.S.
servicemen after the Afghan war. The U.S. Congress urged the
Pentagon to carry out a fact-finding survey of U.S. military
personnel about sexual assaults. The Pentagon started in 2004 to
collect sexual crime data in the U.S. military and is required to
report the findings to Congress.

According to the Pentagon report, there were 1,700 sexual assault
cases (excluding those withdrawn by victims) in 2004. There were
2,047 cases in 2005 and 2,277 cases in 2006.

In the breakdown of complaints filed in 2006, assailants and victims
were U.S. service members in 1,167 cases (51 PERCENT ). Assailants
were U.S. service members and victims were civilians in 658 cases
(29 PERCENT ). Assailants were civilians and U.S. service members
were victims in 82 cases (3.6 PERCENT ). Victims were U.S. service
members and assailants cannot be identified in 370 cases (16 PERCENT

TOKYO 00000597 009 OF 010


Those reported incidents occurred at military installations in 1,208
cases (53 PERCENT ) and outside military installations in 953 cases
(42 PERCENT ), with unidentified locations in 116 cases (5 PERCENT

Among the 2,277 incidents that were reported in 2006, U.S. military
investigative authorities have completed investigations on 1,500
persons in 1,402 cases (62 PERCENT ). Of the 1,500 persons, U.S.
military commanding officers could not directly punish 765 persons
(51 PERCENT ) because they were civilians or foreign nationals who
are not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMC).

Of the 735 persons subject to punitive action, 446 are pending.
Among the 289 persons for punitive action, 72 were court-martialed,
and 114 were punished. The U.S. media, however, is raising a
question about the reliability of the Pentagon report on the number
of punishments.

(8) Okinawa Human Rights Association protests series of crimes
committed by U.S. military personnel

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 23) (Full)
March 6, 2008

In the wake of a series of crimes committed by U.S. military
members, including the alleged rape of a junior high school girl by
a U.S. Marine, Seigen Nagayoshi, secretary general of the Okinawa
Human Rights Association (headed by Hiroaki Fukuchi) and other
officials yesterday visited the U.S. Consulate General in Urasoe
City to protest to Consul General Kevin Maher. The consul general
told them: "The incident was regrettable. Japan and the United
States have been working together to create a special taskforce and
a working group (to deal with the matter)."

Nagayoshi pointed out: "Behind the alleged rape incident is (U.S.
military personnel's) disregard for the human rights of Okinawa
people and their Occupation mentality." He handed over a note
calling for an apology and full compensation to the victim, as well
as revisions to the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.

Maher also said:

"The prevention of a recurrence of crimes and revision of the
U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement are two separate issues. We
should not be lacking in consideration for the victim by using the
incident politically."

In regard to the issue of (Okinawa's opposition to) U.S. military
members' living off base, Maher told Nagayoshi: "Why do you oppose
such? What are your specific reasons?" Nagayoshi responded: "Because
they are foreigners." The consul general then said: "You oppose such
only because they are foreigners. If that is your reason, doesn't
that become racial discrimination?"

(Corrected copy): Poll: 44 PERCENT hope for DPJ victory in next
general election

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
March 6, 2008

TOKYO 00000597 010 OF 010

The Mainichi Shimbun conducted a telephone-based nationwide public
opinion survey on Mar. 1-2, in which respondents were asked which
political party between the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the
leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan they would like to see
win in the next election for the House of Representatives. In
response, 44 PERCENT chose the DPJ, with 34 PERCENT preferring the
LDP, posting almost the same results as in the last survey taken in
January. "Other political parties" accounted for 15 PERCENT , up 3
percentage points. The figure is the highest ever since the survey
began to ask this question in August last year. The survey this time
shows that both the LDP and the DPJ remain unable to fully answer
public expectations.

The same question was asked in the past seven surveys. The DPJ was
above the LDP in all those surveys. In a survey taken right after
the Fukuda cabinet's inauguration in September last year, the LDP
stood at 41 PERCENT , with the DPJ at 45 PERCENT . In the following
surveys, the LDP was down, with the gap between the two parties at 5
points, 13 points, 9 points, and 10 points.

"Other political parties" accounted for 9 PERCENT in September last
year. However, the figure tends to increase along with the declining
rate of support for the LDP.

Among men, the LDP stood at 31 PERCENT , with the DPJ at 54 PERCENT
. Among women, the LDP scored 37 PERCENT , and the DPJ at 35 PERCENT

Among DPJ supporters, only 2 PERCENT said they want the LDP to win.
Meanwhile, among LDP supporters, the proportion of those who want
the LDP to win rose to 10 PERCENT . Among those who support New
Komeito, it also went up to 11 PERCENT . The figures show that the
ruling parties are becoming unsteady. Among those who answered that
they have no party to support, the LDP marked 23 PERCENT , with the
DPJ at 40 PERCENT and other political parties at 27 PERCENT .


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