July 4, 2014
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on July 3 issued a statement in regard to the Japanese government's decision to partially end its sanctions against North Korea.
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo earlier in the day announced the decision to ease some punitive measures against North Korea in reaction to the outcome of the Japan-North Korea talks. In the talks, the North Korean side promised to launch a special committee on the issue of the alleged abduction of Japanese citizens on July 4 and said that the committee will obtain a mandate to investigate any organ in the country.
The Japanese government will lift sanctions on travel and the transfer of funds between Japan and North Korea. This measure will also allow North Korean ships to enter into Japanese ports for humanitarian purposes.
The full text of the statement is as follows:
The Japanese government on July 3 decided to partly relax sanctions against North Korea which Japan has been imposing separately from UN sanctions following the Japan-DPRK high-level talks in which Pyongyang made public contents of the special committee to investigate the fate of all Japanese nationals, including abductees and missing citizens. Lifting of sanctions will be applied soon after the special committee begins the investigation on July 4.
This move, which is in line with the agreement the two countries struck this May, is important as a first step toward resolving the abduction issue. The JCP demands that Pyongyang conduct the probe thoroughly and promptly.
Pointing out that North Korea's "special unit" has hampered uncovering the full truth underlying the abduction issue, the JCP has repeatedly argued that Pyongyang should appoint a high official who is familiar with the overall picture of this matter and has the authority to solve it as the person in charge of uncovering all the facts.
In a meeting with then Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro on December 9, 2004, the JCP presented this argument. In response, Koizumi stated that he will give proper consideration to the JCP proposal.
We are taking notice of the Japanese government's explanation that a special investigation committee Pyongyang is to launch is made up of high ranking members possessing a strong authority.
The JCP hopes sincerely that the two governments' act will lead to resolving various concerns mentioned in the 2002 Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration, including the abduction issue.