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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Japanese kidnap victims' relatives to the free world: Grow a spine

The United States is planning to take Stalinist North Korea off the list of terror sponsors (Weekly Standard). Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, reminding me why I never want her near the executive branch ever again, insists that the "concessions" (Washington Times) from Communist China's de facto colony make the move worth wile.

Sadly, this is the common reaction of officials who have become either delusional in the face of repeated dangerous behavior from Pyongyang and Beijing or simply too exhausted to fight it. Thus, the abduction not only of Japanese citizens but also an American refugee goes into the memory hole (Washington Post), never mind the Stalinist regime's horrific treatment of its own people (CNN and One Free Korea).

Lest anyone think this is limited only to Beijing's Korean colony, keep in mind that the Communists themselves continue to harass and intimidate exiles in the free world (The Epoch Times), kidnap (at best) hundreds of citizens of occupied nations (BBC and CNN), and arm anti-American terrorists (including those killing Americans in Iraq today - World Net Daily), yet the buildup to the 2008 Communist Olympiad continues apace (Boycott 2008).

There are still some, however, who refuse to be deluded or overwhelmed. They will not give up the fight, and they are calling on their leaders (and the rest of us) not to abandon them. They are the relatives of the Japanese abductees, and there open letter to the Japanese Prime Minister is below, in full (emphasis added).

June 17, 2008
An Urgent Appeal Addressed To:

Honorable Yasuo Fukuda,
Prime Minister of Japan
Mr. Nobutaka Machimura
Chief Cabinet Secretary
On June 13th, in the wake of Japan-North Korea talks in Beijing, the Japanese government announced that it is going to lift Japan’s sanctions “partially” in exchange for North Korean promise to “re-investigate” the abduction of Japanese citizens without clinging to its standard position that “the abduction issue has been resolved.”

It is obvious that North Korea changed its longstanding position and came to the negotiating table to discuss the abduction issue only as a result of pressure applied in recent years from both Japan and international community. However, by proceeding with the lifting of sanctions prematurely at a stage where repatriation of the abductees remains unforeseeable, Japan’s unilateral easing of pressure on North Korea would be inconsistent with the “action for action” principle and is therefore unacceptable.

In particular, reinstatement of port visits by North Korean vessels, including large freighter passenger ships such as the Man-gyong-bong, poses a problem since the definition of “humanitarian goods” eligible to be boarded remains unclear with the possible effect becoming a major lifting, not a “partial” lifting of existing sanctions. This approach cannot be tolerated, even if it is presented as a negotiating technique. Even though the Japanese government maintains it has not changed its policy, the explanation is not plausible.

There are reports that procedures for reinstatement of the Man-gyong-bong’s Japanese port visits were initiated several days before the reopening of the recent Japan-North Korea negotiation in Beijing. If true, this would be a very suspicious and mysterious development suggesting that somehow the content of the Japanese position was leaked in advance to the Kim Jong-il regime.

Our concern is that Japan’s partial lifting of sanctions could accelerate the movement in the United States for lifting North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. If that happens, the likelihood increases that North Korea would buy time by resorting to deception without conducting an actual investigation that would bring about the return of the abduction victims.

Under these circumstances, we strongly urge the members of the Fukuda Government to reinvigorate the government’s efforts and determination to accomplish Japan’s original purpose of resolving the abduction issue by bringing all the abductees home.

We urge the Japanese Government to undertake the following measures:
1. To sufficiently and intelligibly explain to the Japanese people whether or not Japanese government policy on the abduction issue has been changed.
2. To refrain from lifting any sanctions until North Korea conducts a satisfactory “reinvestigation that leads to the repatriation of victims”.
3. To impose tougher sanctions if North Korea prolongs its investigation despite its promise;
4. To advise the United States that as long as the country of North Korea does not take concrete action to allow repatriation of all of the abduction victims, it is Japan’s position that there would be no substantive progress on the abduction issue and to ask our ally the United States therefore not to remove North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.


Shigeo Iizuka, Chairman
Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN)

Katsumi Sato, Chairman
National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea (NARKN)

Takeo Hiranuma, Chairman
Parliamentarian League for Early Repatriation of Japanese Citizens
Kidnapped by North Korea
Cross-posted to the China e-Lobby and the right-wing liberal

Posted by D.J. McGuire on June 19, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink


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