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Monthly News for November, 2003

November 7, 2003


Inauguration of the LDP’s Headquarters for Policy on the Abductions Issue

On October 7, the LDP’s Abduction Issue Policy Headquarters (Chairman, Secretary General Shinzo Abe) was officially opened.
At this first meeting, the family members of the abduction victims, including Shigeru Yokota, Shigeo Iizuka, Toru Hasuike and Teruaki Masumoto, were in attendance to exchange views on how to solve this outstanding issue.
Secretary General Abe said in his introduction, “the abduction issue is considered a problem of utmost importance within the LDP, and we are resolved to find a solution to it as soon as possible.”
During the discussion, the family strongly expressed its wishes in favor of imposing economic sanctions, setting controls on the Man Gyong Bong Ferries and the early return of abductees’ family members still left in North Korea. The Policy Headquarters has decided to adopt a policy corresponding to that of the government.

James Kelly, Assistant Secretary, US Department of State, Meets Secretary General Abe

On October 1, James Kelly, Assistant Secretary, US Department of State, visited LDP Headquarters to meet Secretary General Shino Abe to discuss the North Korea nuclear issue and President Bush’s forthcoming visit to Japan. Assistant Secretary Kelly spoke about the Six-Nation talks held in China in August. “We have seen evidence of North Korea’s development of a nuclear program and the North Korean representative’s announcement yesterday to the UN General Assembly suggests that a solution to the nuclear issue is distant. It is important to watch these trends closely and for the United States, South Korea and Japan to act in unison.” Secretary General Abe responded in kind. “It is quite natural that the abductions issue be brought up for discussion in the Six Nation talks. It took a great deal of courage for the United States to make clear its intention to adopt the abductions question as a main issue. We have not changed our stance insisting that normalization of relations between Japan and North Korea can only occur after the resolution of the abductions issue. We hope that we can solve it with the cooperation and understanding of participant nations.”

South Korea’s National Security Advisor, Ra Jong-yil, Meets with Secretary General Abe

On October 2, South Korean National Security Advisor, Ra Jong-yil, visited LDP Headquarters to meet with Secretary General Shinzo Abe. Mr. Ra has been entrusted by the President to oversee national security. They exchanged opinions about North Korean issues since Shinzo Abe’s term as Deputy Secretary General.
They both concurred that a united effort between Japan and South Korea is indispensable for the settlement of the North Korean problem.

Deputy Prime Minister of Qatar Meets with the Secretary Generals of the Ruling Parties

On October 7, LDP Vice-President Taku Yamazaki, along with the Secretary Generals of the other ruling parties, Tetsuzo Fuyushiba of the New Komeito and Toshihiro Nikai of the New Conservative Party, met with Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister Attiya, who also serves as the Minister of Energy Production. This meeting was used to discuss the specifics of various plans set out when the Secretary Generals of the ruling parties visited Qatar last May, including the promotion of bilateral relations, the building of a Japanese-language school and the establishment of a direct air route between the Japan and Qatar.
The Secretary Generals also expressed their wishes to hold a softball competition at the forthcoming Asian Games to be held in Doha, Qatar. The Deputy Prime Minister responded that he would make his best effort to host the match.

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