6. Mai 2014

Weiter unten: zum Fährunglück in Südkorea ...

EU fordert eine Menschenrechtsklausel im Zusammenhang mit der Vereinbarung über Wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit von EU und Japan

Japan Times - NEWS, 6. Mai 2014
EU demands human rights clause linked to economic partnership agreement with Japan
JIJI, MAY 6, 2014
BRUSSELS – The European Union is insisting on a human rights clause linked to a proposed economic partnership agreement (EPA) with Japan, it was learned Monday.
In negotiations between the EU and Japan on a strategic partnership agreement (SPA), which are held in parallel with their EPA talks, the EU is calling for a clause that allows Brussels to suspend the EPA if Japan engages in human rights violations, informed sources said.
While the EU says the clause in the SPA also allows Japan to do the same if the EU violates human rights, Tokyo is strongly opposed to the demand, the sources said.
It is the EU’s basic strategy to call for democratization in developing or emerging countries in exchange for economic benefits. Japan is angry at the EU for trying to apply the policy for developing countries to a member of the Group of Seven major industrial nations.
In its free trade agreement talks with the United States, the EU does not call for the conclusion of a political pact like the SPA.
An EU official emphasizes that the human rights clause is unlikely to be invoked against Japan, but the EU issues a statement condemning capital punishment is cruel and inhuman every time when Japan executes a death-row inmate. The clause may exert tacit pressure on Japan from the EU, which aims for abolition of the death penalty.
The EU apparently believes that having Japan accept the human rights clause would make it easier to push for the clause in its future free trade agreement talks with China.
Japan argues that allowing the SPA to constrain the EPA poses legal questions. Since Japan has not concluded a pact like the SPA in its trade liberalization deals with other countries, Tokyo has told the EU that the clause may face opposition from the Cabinet Legislation Bureau even if it expresses acceptance in the negotiations.


Die Fähre Sewol hatte 476 Menschen an Bord, als sie in der Nähe von Jindo unterging.

174 Schüler und 22 von 29 der Crew wurden gerettet, über 260 starben.
Civilian diver dies in South Korea ferry search
AP, MAY 6, 2014
SEOUL – A civilian diver involved in searches for dozens of missing people from the South Korean ferry disaster died Tuesday as other divers helped by better weather and easing ocean currents were picking up efforts to retrieve more bodies from the sunken ship.
The Sewol carried 476 people, most of them students from a single high school near Seoul, when it sank off South Korea’s southern coast on April 16. Only 174 survived, including 22 of the 29 crew members. The sinking left more than 260 people dead, with about 40 others still missing.
On Tuesday, one civilian diver died at a hospital after becoming unconscious, government task force spokesman Ko Myung-seok said in a statement. He is the first fatality among divers mobilized following the ferry’s sinking, according to the coast guard.
The 53-year-old diver was pulled to the surface by fellow divers after losing communication about five minutes after he began underwater searches, Ko said. It was his first search attempt, Ko added.
Despite his death, divers were continuing their searches Tuesday, with authorities believing most of the remaining missing people are in 64 of the ship’s 111 areas. Ko said divers have searched all those 64 areas at least once and plan to revisit them again to look for more victims.
Darkness, floating debris and the maze of corridors and cabins onboard have made the search difficult, and divers entered the last three unopened areas on Monday night, Ko said.
Investigators have also made their first arrests of people who were not on board the Sewol when it sank. The three people arrested on Friday and Sunday are suspected of negligence in their handling of cargo on the vessel, according to prosecutors.
In all, 19 people have been arrested in the investigation, 15 of them crew members accused of abandoning passengers. An executive with ties to Chonghaejin, the company that owns the ferry, was detained on suspicion of malpractice related to company finances.
Improper stowage and overloading of cargo is suspected as a possible reason the ferry sank. The ferry was carrying an estimated 3,608 tons of cargo, more than three times what it could safely carry. A ferry loaded too heavily could lose its balance making even a small turn.
The sinking has caused a national grief. As of Sunday, 1.1 million people had paid respects at 131 memorial altars around the nation, according to a governmental funeral support committee set up for the ferry victims. Tuesday was a national holiday in South Korea for Buddha’s birthday, and more people were expected to visit those mourning stations.
Monday was also a holiday for Children’s Day, but various events were canceled or postponed because of the ferry’s sinking. The Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, run by the Seoul city office, canceled a handful of outdoor events and music festivals on the holiday.