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Saturday, November 11, 2000

Computer data center
helps Internet access

Bullet The issue: A Seattle company plans to open a major computer data center in Kapolei.

Bullet Our view: It will be a welcome addition to Kapolei development and help Hawaii's efforts to support a significant high-tech industry.

INTERNET access for businesses in Hawaii has received an important boost by a Seattle company's decision to build a major data center in Kapolei. Coupled with plans to increase cable links, it should create the infrastructure needed to support the level of high-technology industry sought by the state.

Mid-Pacific Broadband Inc., an Internet development company, signed a 50-year lease with the Campbell Estate for 54 acres in Kapolei. The plan is to build the 100,000-square-foot center and to employ 50 technicians, sales representatives and executives, with the potential of tripling in size and work force.

Businesses will be able to use the center to locate computer equipment needed to reach into the backbone of the Internet. California's Silicon Valley has 100 such hubs while Hawaii has only two smaller ones, said Craig Goldenberg, Mid-Pacific's chief executive.

Its effectiveness will depend on an increase in fiber cable connections to Hawaii. Southern Cross Cable Network is scheduled to open a new line linking Hawaii to the mainland and Australia. An additional cable from Hawaii to Japan and the mainland is scheduled to become operational next year, and a third project is planned for completion in 2002.

Governor Cayetano called the opening of the Kapolei facility "a significant development that will position Hawaii as a major player in the digital economy by enabling more e-commerce between the United States and Asia."

The Mid-Pacific facility also is an important ingredient in the development of Kapolei as a computer center. Southco Inc., a Pennsylvania computer hardware company, opened a service center in Kapolei in January 1999. Total Resource Management Inc., a Virginia software company, and Software Pharmacy Inc., formerly of Silicon Valley, have moved to Kapolei more recently. The large acreage leased by Mid-Pacific could eventually become a high-tech park accommodating other businesses.

Cayetano has made Hawaii's capability of supporting a vibrant computer industry a top priority in his administration. Mid-Pacific's decision to open a large data center in Kapolei is a significant step toward achieving that goal.

Pressure on Japan to
halt whale slaughter

Bullet The issue: Japan continues to issue permits for whaling under the pretense of scientific research in order to claim compliance with an international moratorium on commercial whaling.

Bullet Our view: International pressure would be preferable to U.S. sanctions to force Japanese compliance with the ban.

FOR the past five years, Japan has issued permits under the guise of research for the killing of whales in Antarctica and the North Pacific. While other countries have refrained from all whaling activities, Japan has defied a moratorium so restaurants can be supplied with whale meat. International pressure is needed to bring Japan into conformity with the whaling ban.

The International Whaling Commission, of which Japan is a member, agreed to the commercial whaling moratorium in 1986. Japan, Norway and Iceland issued scientific permits for some years after it went into effect, but Japan alone has issued such permits in the past five years. Meat that comes from whales killed in the scientific programs is considered a delicacy in Japan, and is served both raw and cooked in restaurants.

The commission in July approved a resolution asking that Japan refrain from issuing any permits for the killing of minke whales in Antarctica. Yet Japan has issued permits this year for the killing of 400 minke whales in Antarctica and 100 minke whales, 50 Bryde's whales and 10 sperm whales in the North Pacific.

Japan has defended its whaling activities as scientific research, but the actual purpose is thinly veiled. To remove any doubts, Japan has called for a lifting of the ban on commercial whaling when the commission meets in London next year.

President Clinton is expected to discuss the issue Monday with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori when the two leaders meet in Tokyo. The Clinton administration is considering imposing sanctions on Japan for its whaling activities.

"Japan is always ready to talk," a spokesman for Mori said in reference to the issue. There has been speculation that Japan could respond to sanctions with a ban on U.S. agricultural imports.

In addition to carrying the risk of retaliation, unilateral sanctions generally are ineffective. A more appropriate method of dealing with Japan's defiance of the moratorium would be through the Whaling Commission, requiring more rigid requirements to justify the killing of whales in scientific research.

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John M. Flanagan, Editor & Publisher

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