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2008年7月 7日 (月)


(Jul. 7, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Urge Pyongyang to act on nukes, abductees
日米首脳会談 北に核・拉致の「行動」を促せ(7月7日付・読売社説)

It is now vital for Japan and the United States to cooperate more closely than ever before to make substantial progress on addressing North Korea's nuclear development program and abduction of Japanese in the 1970s and '80s.

During their summit meeting Sunday, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and U.S. President George W. Bush agreed that it was essential to appropriately verify North Korea's declaration last month of its nuclear program. Bush also reiterated that the United States would not "abandon" Japan on the abduction issue.

The Japanese Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea and others involved are staunchly opposed to the United States starting the procedure for removing the reclusive state from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. Many observers have pointed out that Washington and Tokyo have failed to coordinate their policies on Pyongyang.
(staunchly=かたく、しっかりと) (reclusive=世間から隔絶された、排除された、阻害された、村八分の)

We should never forget that North Korea would welcome discord between Japan and the United States. It is, therefore, significant that the Japanese and U.S. leaders reaffirmed the two nations' cooperation on North Korean issues at this crucial moment.

For now, priority should be placed on pushing ahead with efforts to verify Pyongyang's declaration of its nuclear program--with North Korea's cooperation--before its removal from the blacklist takes effect Aug. 11.


Proper verification essential

To ensure their work is effective, the verification team must inspect nuclear facilities and interview engineers involved. It is also necessary to have the International Atomic Energy Agency participate in the verification work--a measure opposed by Pyongyang.

Bush regards the period running up to the delisting of North Korea as the crucial time to determine whether the country is willing to sincerely cooperate with the verification work.

North Korea should not be allowed to stall for time.

At the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear development program expected to resume this week, Japan and the United States must press North Korea to take swift action on the verification issue together with China, South Korea and Russia.

It is important to note that North Korea has not taken any specific actions since it promised a reinvestigation into Japanese abductees and cooperation in handing over the perpetrators of the 1970 hijacking of the Japan Airlines jet "Yodo" during working-level negotiations held in mid-June between Japan and North Korea.


It was North Korea that proposed the principle of "action for action" in the six-party talks. Its promises should not be allowed to end up being empty gestures just to win its removal from the U.S. blacklist.


Global warming


In their meeting Sunday, Fukuda asked Bush to cooperate in adopting a long-term target of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Bush responded that he would act constructively on the issue, showing a positive stance toward Japan's proposal.

As the United States insists, it is vital to have China, India and other emerging industrial economies committed to such a long-term goal if the world wants to achieve the global emissions reduction objective. The Group of Eight nations that have achieved economic growth, meanwhile, must shoulder greater responsibility than emerging economies and developing nations.

Japan is in a better position than European nations with more radical stances on this issue to persuade the United States to agree to a long-term emissions reduction target as Tokyo's stance is closer to that of Washington.

If he wants to produce tangible results at the G-8 summit at Toyakocho, Hokkaido, Fukuda needs to try to coordinate views with China, India and other emerging economies over the issue, in addition to the difficult task of persuading the United States to agree to the long-term target.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 7, 2008)
(2008770142  読売新聞)


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