Japan-S Korea plans against terror threat

Associated Press

Singapore, June 5:

South Korea and Japan today said they’re realigning their militaries to face terror threats in Asia while Australia’s defence minister said his country would help the United States “in any way” to maintain security in the region. The comments followed a speech by US Defence Secretary Donald H Rumsfeld, who urged countries in the Asia-Pacific area to ratchet up maritime patrols and warned that terrorists could strike again.

Masahiko Hori, director general of international affairs for Japan’s Defence Agency, said Tokyo is considering “utilising military for a policing purpose” to protect inbound sea cargo from attack. Rumsfeld, speaking at a major security conference in Singapore, urged Southeast Asian countries to head off attacks by inspecting ships they suspect of transporting illicit cargo.

“Let there be no doubt, there is more (terror attacks) to come,” Rumsfeld told more than 200 defence ministers, military officers, and security analysts from 21 countries at the third annual Shangri-La Dialogue. Australian Defence Minister Robert Hill suggested the Five Power Defence Arrangement — which groups Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Singapore and Malaysia — could be expanded.