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Fumio Ota

【#514(Special)】Intelligence Agencies Required for a Libya Model

Fumio Ota / 2018.05.18 (Fri)

May 14, 2018

     The U.S. government seems willing to adopt the so-called “Libya model” to the denuclearization of North Korea. The model featured foreign intelligence agencies already aware of nuclear weapon locations in Libya that promptly moved nuclear equipment and materials out of the country as inspections by international organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency were expected to take much time. The foreign intelligence agencies for the Libya model were the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Britain’s Military Intelligence 6 and the Mossad of nearby Israel. It would be reasonable for a Japanese intelligence organization to be involved in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. However, Japan has no such organization. Why?

Limits of Japan’s constitution trusting foreign countries
     A country needs an intelligence agency to look into real intentions of others because it cannot trust them. No intelligence organization is reasonably required for the people who “have determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world,” as noted in the preamble of the Japanese constitution.
     I am firmly confident that U.S. military pressure rather than economic sanctions led North Korean leaders to accept summit talks with South Korea and the United States after repeating nuclear and ballistic missile tests until last year. Japan failed to contribute also to the military pressure because of its constitution stipulating, “land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.” Only economic power is left for Japan.

Japan should pay no money until abduction is resolved
     As in the case of the Gulf War, Japan has traditionally paid money in accordance with U.S. decisions regarding the North Korean nuclear problem. North and South Korea and the international community may see such Japanese role as natural. This time, however, Japan should pay no money until the resolution of North Korea’s abduction of Japanese citizens and the complete dismantlement of its intermediate- and short-range ballistic missiles. Particularly, the return of abducted Japanese would amount only to the bringing back of those taken away illegally. Any monetary payment to North Korea for the return would be equivalent to giving money to thieves.
     Even if the Korean Peninsula is unified in the future, the unified country will certainly be a threat to Japan, judging from the attitude of South Korea that added a map of the peninsula including the Japan’s Takeshima Islands to desserts for the recent North-South summit. Since the normalization of relations between Japan and China in 1979, Japan has provided China with as much as 3 trillion yen in official development assistance. However, China has taken advantage of such assistance to expand its military power to the present level that is nearly triple as large as the Japanese and to threaten Japan’s inherent territory of the Senkaku Islands. As it turned out, Japan has paid money to foster a country becoming a threat to Japan. Japan should not repeat the same failure on the Korean Peninsula.
     The National Diet is responsible for considering how to improve intelligence and defense capabilities to build a normal country without wasting hard-earned tax money. At a time when the international community faces the greatest upheaval in a century, how long will Japanese lawmakers waste their precious legislative time for debate over the Moritomo and Kake potential favoritism scandals and a senior government official’s sexual harassment?

Fumio Ota is a JINF Planning Committee Member and retired Vice Admiral of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force.