Does anyone see a parallel between the Japanese authorities welcoming Fujimori and the Korean media welcoming Robert Kim?
Well, both men are carbon-based life forms! But I’m not sure what Kushibo is getting at. Kim betrayed his adopted homeland for his country of birth and damaged a critical alliance in the process; Fujimori is using Japan to return to power in his home country of Peru. Here’s the background of the two men.
Robert Kim was a computer analyst for US Naval Intelligence indicted for handing classified documents to South Korean in September 1996. He was convicted and sentenced to nine years, serving seven and a half. The guilty man had this earlier this year: “Some people think that when you acquire citizenship in a different country, that you forget your home country, but this is not true… Is a citizenship so important? I acquired a citizenship in order to work.” (Via the Marmot’s old site.) I’d be surprised if Kim’s treason doesn’t shock US government officials to question whether Korean-born Americans can be trusted to safeguard national interests.
Alberto Fujimori was the ethnically Japanese President of Peru who Fujimori resigned after a decade in office via fax from Japan. Fujimori was granted citizenship after his resignation on questionable grounds and speaks no Japanese. Tokyo is protecting him for two reasons, one obvious and one less so. First, some senior Japanese politicians have supported Fujimori for his decisive action in the 1997 embassy hostage crisis; and second because Peru recieved copious Overseas Development Aid, much of what was not used for overseas development, plus other kickbacks during Fujimori’s tenure and the last thing Tokyo wants is a trial. Planning a return to power, Fujimori landed in Chile yesterday and was arrested — Japan is desperate to protect him.
The ROK government didn’t help Kim get a reduced sentence, but the Korean press fawned all over him. Japan doesn’t want Fujimori to blab about the kickbacks he got from Tokyo during the 1990s and is trying to protect him, while the Japanese media is quiet (plus plenty in Japan call for Fujimori to be expelled already).
Kushibo also asks why this doesn’t hurt US-Israeli relations when Israeli spies are convicted. The answers should be obvious: 1.) Israel has a good lobby; 2.) Israel is (or pretends to be) grateful for US help, 3.) the Korean ambassador made monthly visits to see Kim; and 4.) the Israeli media doesn’t applaud these people when they’re disowned by their government. Nor does it help when Kim announces he’s returning to ROK to spread his technique: “Now as a senior, I would like to use my remaining time to teach patriotic sentiment to young people.” See more on the topic here.