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Joint meeting of the Headquarters for North Korean Abductions and Foreign Affairs Division: Stiffer sanctions on North Korea

September 16, 2016

Joint meeting of the Headquarters for North Korean Abductions and Foreign Affairs Division: Stiffer sanctions on North Korea

In a joint meeting on September 16, the Party's Headquarters for North Korean Abductions (Chairperson: Eriko Yamatani, Member of the House of Councillors) and Foreign Affairs Division (Director: Masashi Adachi, Member of the House of Councillors) were briefed by the relevant ministries and agencies on the status of sanctions against North Korea.

North Korea has failed to fulfill the Stockholm Agreement signed in May 2014, which required a thorough investigation and report on missing and abducted Japanese citizens. In addition North Koreahas fired 21 ballistic missiles this year. On September 9, it conducted its fifth nuclear test. The Party has issued emergency declarations against this unending stream of outrageous conducts and has strongly requested the Japanese government to make diplomatic efforts to coordinate with other countries in strengthening the sanctions and to fully implement 13 Japan-only sanctions according to the recommendation issued by the LDP Headquarters in June 2015.

In her opening remarks to the meeting, Chairperson Yamatani expressed her sense of foreboding that "we have entered a new stage of threat" and told the meeting, "I want to discuss whether there is something more that we can do, and whether there are aspects (of the 13 Japanese sanctions) that are not effective enough."

In response, Minister in Charge of the Abductions Issue Katsunobu Kato and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobuo Kishi expressed their intentions to study new Japanese sanctions and requested further cooperation from the Party.

Representing the Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea, Shigeo Iizuka said, "We have gone beyond the limits of what victims can be expected to endure physically and emotionally. I urge you to leverage the sanctions so that they translate directly into effective discussions (of the abduction issue)."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained that Japan began implementing its own sanctions in February of this year based on the Party Headquarters recommendations. Some members in attendance suggested doing a better job of tracking the flow of funding for the usage of the headquarters building of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan and enhancing the transmission of information to North Korea, both of which were included in the recommendations.

After the meeting, Chairperson Yamatani and her colleagues delivered a written request to Prime Minister and LDP President Shinzo Abe seeking stronger sanctions. Chairperson Yamatani also called for an explicit statement regarding abductions and other human rights abuses in any new resolutions coming out of the UN Security Council.

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