Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - May 20, 1997, Tokyo, Japan4 PACIFIC STARS AND STRIPES TUBWY, MAY 20,1997 ql p
>o Bureau Chief
rOK0HAMA, Japan — The transport
j(p M/V American Falcon, now heading
Thailand in support of U.S. troops
training in Cobra Gold, is skippered by a
Man whose teachers not too many years
agoj would have told him those troops
are his enemy.
Clad in jeans, sneakers and a sport
shirt, Marin Johnson doesn't fit the im-
age of a ship's captain who works hand-
in-hand with the U.S. Navy. He also
doesn't fit the image, if there is one, of a
native of Bulgaria, a former Warsaw
Pact country .until the Soviet Union
crumbled in 1990.
Johnson, 43, was bora Marin Ivan
Kosladinov. He became a Johnson by re-
versing tradition when he married his
American wife Anita Johnson and took
porn in Popova, Bulgaria, Johnson
learned the shipping trade at Bulgaria's
maritime academy, where many of his
classmates were training to become na-
After his education, Johnson went to
sea. When his ship ma^a port call in
1979 in Hamburg, Germany, he went
ashore and sought political asylum at theU.S. Consulate. Officials granted him
permission (to emigrate to New York,
where two Bulgarian friends andsfellow-
asylum seekers were living.
"I had tp^do all kinds of odd jobs,
working at^ght, studying English by
day," said Johnson, interviewed in his
apartment-sized ship's quarters last
week at the Army's North Dock in Yoko-
hama. "I think it took me almost a yearto find a shipping job."
He became a U.S. citizen in
Johnson's wife also worked on ships.
The two met in Mexico. They have a 5-year-old daughter and live in Freeland,
Johnson spends about seven months
away from home eacij year, although his
family has spent time with him at sea
aboard the American Falcon. He has
been the ship's captain since 1992.
The IJ,S.-flagged, Swedish-built ship isunder contract to the U.S. Military Sea-
lift Command. It carried equipment to
Thailand last month for Cobra Gold and
now is returning to pick up the gear.
^The 635-foot ship is what mariners
call a "ro-ro" (rollrpn, roll-off) ship. Its
twuvstern ramps permit large trucks to
Andrew Carlsson, second mate on the ,W African Falcon military sealifl ship, and
Cap! Harin Johnson, were sailors in former communist Eastern Europe countries.
icrunlcload and unload in the cargo hold. troops destroyed Warsaw's Jewish ghet-
The 20, craw members have cabins to in 1944. He said he joined the Polish
that seem palatial in contrast to those on resistance and was captured by the Ger-
Navy ships. Thei£ other amenities in- mang. On his way to a concentrationelude a small swimming-pool, a recrea-
tion room stocked with 1,108 videocas-
settes and a well-equipped exercise
room, the walls of which bear the markof weights that somebody apparently'
forgot to strap down a few times before0
the ship hit rough seas.
Johnson shares his position with an-
other captain who works when Johnson
is off-duty. ° -
On its current voyage, the American
Falcon has another crew member, 2nd
Mate Andrew Carlsson, who also is from
a former Warsaw Pact country.
Carlsson, 65, has a Swedish name be-
cause his grandparents were born in
Sweden, but he was born in Poland.
camp, he escaped and spent the last few
months of the war hiding at his grand-
Poland emerged as' a communist coun-
try after the 'war. Carlsson became a
tour guide in Warsaw, then went to sea
and worked his way up to ship's captain.
He said he gave up that job t6 become
a second mate on a Swedish ship — but
not as a political refugee. The decision
was purely an economic one, he said,
explaining that he made five times as
much money in his new job. ._ „
Carlsson moved to the United States
during the late 1960s and later became
an American citizen. He now resides in
As an adolescent, he watched from a Meltairie, La.i and has worked on Amer-
nearby fourth-floor balcony while Nazi ican vessels regularly since 1971.
Marchers demand Taiwan
The Associated Press &
TAIPEI, Taiwan T For the secpndtime in three weeks, tens of thousands of
Taiwanese marched Sunday to demand
the resignation of Premier Lien Chan for
the government's failure to curb violentcrime. •>•'' Y .'• /•'•' -:\ • ' / Y Y'V; ..
Led by parents with children, the
demonstrators carried placards pro-
claiming '*Shaine,'Y "Agony," and"Please take 21 walk" as they marched
down a broad avenue to the presidential
office building. t .v " " Y
^ Witnesses put the number of march-ers at 50,000, equaling the number in the
But organizers and the independent
TVBS cable television station estimated
the? number of marchers ait close to
100,000. One person was arrested after
refusing to disperse at the end of the
protest, police said.
As on May 4, the marchers' demands
were retirement of the Cabinet and a
public admission from President Lee
Teng-hui that the government's policieson crime have failed.
The protesters included some mem-
bers of Lee's Nationalist Party.
, Lee repeated his apology Sunday at a
central Taiwan fishing port for failing to
come to grips with crime.
"I feel very sorry for the unease peo-
ple are feeling with so many major'' '-' ' ' ' • • '
crimes still unsolved," Lee said. '
Publicoutrage^ over crime boiled up
after the kidnap-murder last month of
Pai Hsiao-yen, the daughter of popular
entertainer Pai Pirig-ping. That followed
two high-profile murder cases last year.
All three crimes remain unsolved;
The lifting of martial law in 1987 ush-
ered in a wave of crime, and murders
and kidnappings have increased over
the last few years. Y ,; ^ Y
The president rejected Lien's offer to
resign. Marchers said they want Lee to
accept Ilien's resignation, even ? if he
waits to replace him, to show the gov-
ernment is taking responsibility for de-
teriorating law and order, .
HONG KONG — Another 66; soldiers
of the Chinese People's Liberation Army
were to arrive in Hong Kong on Monday
to prepare bases for the gairison that
will march into this British colony when
it reverts to Chinese rule in July.
A government statement said Sunday
the latest group will cross into Hong
Kong from the southern Chinese city of
They will jpiii 40 other soldiers, led by
Maj. Gen. Zhou Bordng, a deputy com-
mander of the future garrison.
The Chinese soldiers, who are to wear
uniforms only while in their barracks,
are to prepare 14 bases for up to 10,000
troops who wijl replace the British garri-
son on July 1.Another group of 90 Chinese soldiers
is to airive MaV 30.
The PLA's presence^ in Hong Kong is
,dne of the most sensitive issues of the
transition to Chinese rule. Many HongKong people remeniber the assault on
pro-democracy demonstrators in Beying
~ -flte future Chinese garrison will con-
sist of elite troops who have studied
Hong Kong law and customs. They also
will be banned from engaging in busi-ness in Hong Kong.
s€4iglit fer ei-spf
official M brifc^ scaoiaf
SEOUL — Prosecutors requested a
warrant Sunday to arrest ai former intel-
ligence official who was close to Presi
dent Kim Young-sam's second son, whois accused of taking bribes and evading
taxes. • YY •''"'••'.••••' • "/;: ••:"-• : -Kim Ki-sup, a former^deputy minister
of South Korea's Agency for National Se-curity Planning, was accused of taking
$169,000 in exchange for helping a busi-
nessman win a government license for a
cable TV station.
„ Prosecutors took him into custody
while waiting for a court to issue an ar-
rest warrant Monday.
The president's son, Kim Hyun-chul,
37, was arrested Saturday on allegations
of collecting $3.6 million in bribes from
two businessmen and evading $1,5 niil-lion in taxes. His arrest has damaged his
father's dredibijity during his final year
inoffice. *'••'• :, - • . - • u • . .
• • • -? : - ';:; : ' •;• - ' '••"••Drug barors foy^d dead
after failed prison
SYDNEY, Australia — A convicted
drug importer Was found dead in his cell
Sunday, less than 24 hours after at-
tempting a prison escape with Austra-
lia's worst serial killer, Ivan Milat.
A New South Wales Corrective Ser-
vices spokeswoman said George Sawas
^w^-'fiG^d;-haqe^vin;'hjbs cell at^Mait-land Prison north of Sydney,
On Saturday, authorities foUed an e&
cape plan he had hatched with Milat.
Sayvas, 47, had been moved to a seg^
regation cell Saturday after his escape"plan was foiled.
"It's 'fair to say tfiat everyone here*syeyy surprised," a prison spokeswoman
said. "His personality ^ would • not J^e one
you would expect him to do some-
Mlat, 51, is serving a life sentence for
killing seven backpackers in the Be-
langlo State Forest. Sawas was serving
time for conspiring to import heroin.
From wire reports '