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The Liberal Democratic Party Responds Promptly to the Incident

May 14, 2002

 On May 8th at approximately 3:00 in the afternoon, an incident occurred in the Chinese city of Shenyang in which five individuals who are believed to be North Korean citizens and who had entered our country's consulate were taken away by armed Chinese police officers. In response, our Party immediately convened a meeting of persons serving on LDP commissions, committees, and in divisions with responsibilities related to foreign affairs and received a report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the facts of the incident and the protest pertaining to it that the Ministry had lodged with the Chinese government.
  At issue is the fact that the Chinese police officers entered the consulate and led away the North Korean citizens without the consent of consulate personnel. This constituted a violation of diplomatic mission premises as stipulated in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The Japanese government has made its demands clear that the Chinese government (1) apologize for the incident, (2) turn over the five North Korean citizens, and (3) provide guarantees that such incidents will not occur again in the future. During the LDP's meeting, which lasted for two hours, many individuals voiced the opinion that the Chinese government should make an immediate and sincere response to this matter. In addition, the Director-General of the LDP's International Bureau, Saito Toshitsugu, argued that because this problem extends beyond government-to-government relations, it merits a strong response from the LDP as a political party as well. He subsequently lodged a protest with the representative of the Chinese Communist Party in Japan.
  Mr. Saito stated that "while both parties have their views and circumstances, it is a fact that the armed Chinese police officers entered the consulate and this constitutes a violation of the Vienna Convention. I would like an apology." In doing so, he emphasized the basic stance of the Japanese government and conveyed feelings prevalent among the Japanese public. At the same time, he and the Chinese representative were in agreement on the point that especially in light of the fact that this year is the 30th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China, this matter should be handled so that any large set-backs in this bilateral relationship can be avoided.

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