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Terrorists Threaten Japanese for Dealing With Beijing Government

July 19, 1989

BEIJING (AP) _ A group calling itself the ″Blood-Bright Dare to Die Squad″ says it will kill two Japanese each month because their nation collaborates with China’s government, the Japanese Embassy said Tuesday.

A letter in Chinese mailed to the Japan Airlines office in Beijing also said citizens of other countries would be killed if they collaborated with the regime.

Police continued rounding up participants in pro-democracy protests that ended with the army crackdown June 3-4. Reports Tuesday said journalist Dai Qing and Yang Wei, a recently freed dissident linked to a Chinese group in New York, were arrested.

Ms. Dai, a reporter for the Guangming Daily, was a leader in a democracy movement among intellectuals last fall. After students took to the streets in April demanding reforms she signed several petitions to the government.

Her husband, reached by telephone, said plainclothes police arrived at their home during dinner Thursday and led her away. He said he had not heard from her since.

It was the first known arrest of a journalist involved in the protests. Hundreds of journalists marched and signed petitions for press freedom, and are said to be required now to write self-criticisms.

Xinhua, the official news agency, said Shanghai police arrested Yang on Tuesday for allegedly ″conducting demagogical propaganda for counterrevolutionary ends.″ Yang, 33, was jailed from 1987 until January on similar charges.

While studying in the United States in 1985, he wrote articles for a journal published by the China Alliance for Democracy, an expatriate group seeking political reform.

More than 2,060 arrests were reported in China in the first weeks after the June 3-4 crackdown. Official reports of arrests have been rare recently, but unofficial ones from families and friends continue.

Chinese sources say arrests have exceeded 2,000 in Beijing alone.

The Chinese government said 200-300 people were killed in the military attack on protesters in June, but Western diplomats and Chinese sources said the death toll may have reached 3,000.

A local official of Japan Airlines said the company had not decided whether to take special security precautions because of the letter received Monday.

It said: ″Because the Japanese pirates collude with the Communist Party dictatorial government and plot to launch a large-scale economic invasion of China, from today we, the Blood-Bright Dare to Die Squad, enter into a state of war with the Japanese pirates.″

Two Japanese businessmen, tourists or people considered friends of China’s ruling party will be killed each month beginning Aug. 15, the letter said. It made no specific demands, but said the killings would increase next year to one a week if Japan did not ″repent.″

″Please tell other countries, if they collude with the dictatorial government, they will meet the same fate,″ the letter concluded.

″We don’t know how serious this is,″ said Hideo Watanabe, first secretary of the Japanese Embassy.

The letter’s tone and terminology suggested links to the student movement. Students and supporters in many cities formed ″dare to die squads″ during the pro-democracy campaign and there has been speculation some would go underground.

When dynamite exploded on a Shanghai-bound train June 26, killing 24 people, authorities said they suspected sabotage. Results of a police investigation have not been released, but the government later issued emergency orders for tighter security to stop ″the enemy from blowing up and sabotaging railway facilities.″

China has no known terrorist organizations. Acts of sabotage are reported from time to time, but usually are attributed to disgruntled individuals.

Official controls and supervision extend to many aspects of daily life, making it difficult for an underground organization to operate.

Watanabe said about 1,000 Japanese are in Beijing, roughly half the number living in the capital before political turmoil caused many foreigners to leave.

Some Japanese businessmen have returned, but express reservations about future investment. Their government has halted high-level contacts with China and frozen development aid.

In the only other known case of a terrorist threat to foreigners, authorities told the U.S. Embassy in June 1988 that nationals of a third country planned to attack Americans in Beijing.

China said several days later the danger had passed, but gave no public explanation. The third country was not identified.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry has asked Chinese authorities to ″take special care to ensure the safety of Japanese people in China,″ a ministry official in Tokyo said.

In another development in Tokyo the Foreign Ministry told a Chinese envoy that although Japan joined six other industrialized democracies at last week’s summit in Paris in criticizing the government crackdown, it hopes to resume cooperative relations with China.

Ministry spokesman Taizo Watanabe said Tadashi Ikeda, a Foreign Ministry official, met with Tang Jiaxuan, China’s charge d’affaires in Tokyo.

The spokesman said Ikeda told Tang that Japan ″cannot accept the use of military force against citizens in China from the humanitarian point of view. Therefore, our relations with China are naturally restrained.″

But Taizo Watanabe said Japan does not want China to be isolated and that Ikeda told the envoy, ″We will be ready to resume cooperative relations when China’s response and international public opinion have improved.″

Tang echoed the Chinese government’s denunciation of the communique issued at the Paris summit, according to Taizo Watanabe. He said Tang told Ikeda the criticism was a ″violent intervention in domestic politics which ignores the facts.″

Tang also said the Chinese policy of developing friendly relations with foreign countries and its economic reforms remain unchanged, the spokesman said.

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