« 火災保険の口コミ情報サイトを検証する 火災共済を選んだ40代男性の声 | トップページ | スマホ特許訴訟 米韓2強対決に影薄い日本勢 »

2012年9月 2日 (日)

日朝予備協議 金正恩体制に「拉致」打開促せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 2, 2012)
Govt should press N. Korea's new leader on abductions
日朝予備協議 金正恩体制に「拉致」打開促せ(9月1日付・読売社説)

Can preliminary talks between Japan and North Korea become a step toward resolving the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea? The government should patiently deepen a dialogue with the country to break the stalemate on the issue.

During division chief-level preliminary consultations in Beijing on Friday, the two countries agreed to discuss a "broad range of issues that interest both sides," and bureau chief-level talks are scheduled to be held in the Chinese capital later this month.

Although the countries did not explicitly agree on it, it stands to reason that the abduction issue, which Japan has called on North Korea to discuss, will be put on the agenda in the higher-level talks.

Such abductions are criminal acts by a state and violate human rights and national sovereignty. North Korea's claim that the abduction issue has already been resolved is totally unacceptable. The government should do everything in its power to enable all the abductees to return home.

In August 2008, North Korea agreed during working-level bilateral talks in Shenyang, China, to launch a committee to reinvestigate the abductions "soon." But Pyongyang unilaterally put off the reinvestigation, and the bilateral talks on the matter were suspended.

However, the issue of repatriating the remains of about 21,600 Japanese who died in North Korea in the closing days of or shortly after World War II prompted the two governments to hold talks for the first time in four years. North Korea has showed a positive attitude toward visits to the graves of such people by their Japanese families.


Kim seen asserting own style

Such developments appear to be partly attributable to North Korea's new regime under Kim Jong Un, the first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea. The chief of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army, regarded as a key mentor to the young leader, was removed from all posts. The move fueled speculation that Kim dismissed him to assert his own style of leadership.

We suspect Kim is trying to persuade Japan and other countries to lift economic sanctions against his nation and provide economic assistance to alleviate its food crisis.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government has reportedly obtained various kinds of information on the abductees through unofficial channels.

Jin Matsubara, state minister in charge of the abduction issue, takes North Korea's recent moves positively.

Kenji Fujimoto, who was a chef for late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, reportedly mentioned Megumi Yokota, one of the abductees, and directly asked Kim Jong Un to allow her and other abductees to return home when he visited Pyongyang in July and August at the invitation of the young leader. Matsubara said raising the abduction issue with the leader is very significant.


Develop momentum

The challenge now is how to link such developments to the resolution of issues of concern, such as the abductions and the repatriation of remains.

At the three-day preliminary meeting this week, Japanese and North Korean government officials reportedly touched upon the fact that Sept. 17 will mark the 10th anniversary of summit talks between then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Kim Jong Il.

During the meeting, the late North Korean leader admitted his country had abducted Japanese people and apologized for the first time. And we should not forget that North Korea signed the Pyongyang Declaration in which both sides confirmed they would abide by international agreements related to the nuclear issue.

The government needs to elicit sincere responses from North Korea. To this end, we urge the government to devise a thorough strategy.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 1, 2012)
(2012年9月1日01時27分  読売新聞)


« 火災保険の口コミ情報サイトを検証する 火災共済を選んだ40代男性の声 | トップページ | スマホ特許訴訟 米韓2強対決に影薄い日本勢 »





« 火災保険の口コミ情報サイトを検証する 火災共済を選んだ40代男性の声 | トップページ | スマホ特許訴訟 米韓2強対決に影薄い日本勢 »