The House of Representatives Special Committee on North Korean Abductions on June 12 approved a bill to deal with North Korea's human rights violations by a majority vote of the Liberal Democratic, Komei, and Democratic parties. The Japanese Communist and Social Democratic parties voted against.
The bill calls for steps to deter the North Korean government from violating human rights, requiring the government to support North Korean defectors in addition to making efforts to resolve the issue of the abduction of Japanese nationals.
Japanese Communist Party representative Kasai Akira criticized the bill for treating the issue of human rights violations in North Korea in the same way as the issue of North Korea's abductions, which are acts of international crime and infringement of Japanese sovereignty.
Pointing out that taking measures to protect and support defectors from North Korea is tantamount to requiring Japan to encourage North Korean people to defect from their country, Kasai said, "It amounts to interfering with the domestic affairs of North Korea."
Kasai stressed that enacting a law without reason acceptable to the international community will hamper the resolution of the abduction issue. Pointing out that it is important for Japan to take part in the Six-Party Talks and increase other diplomatic efforts, he said that a law that allows Japan to put pressure on North Korea by interfering in North Korea's domestic affairs will cause a serious obstacle to diplomatic negotiations.
"It is absolutely unacceptable for such an important bill to be approved without more discussion," Kasai stressed.
- Akahata, June 13, 2006