Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo used his speech on April 7 in Mito City in Ibaraki Prefecture, to explain the party’s view on the question of North Korea’s rocket launch on April 5.
Following is an excerpt from the speech:
“The JCP continued to strongly urge North Korea to exercise restraint on a rocket launch. I stated that the North Korean action was ‘very regrettable’ because it could increase tension in the region and undermine efforts to establish peace and stability.”
“I want to underline two things which I consider important in our future actions.
One is that the international community must be called upon to join forces to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programs and get the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons. It is important for the international community to concentrate its efforts on this particular goal.
This goal can only be achieved through diplomatic efforts. And such efforts can be best dealt with at the Six-Party Talks. It is important to reopen discussions there. The need now is to continue to make effort at it.
Calls for strengthened sanctions and military-first response to North Korea will create stumbling block to diplomatic resolution of the issue
Secondly, if we only pursue the path of imposing sanctions or emphasizing the need to respond militarily to the North Korean action, it will create a stumbling block to the effort to resolve the issue through diplomacy.
The House of Representatives adopted a resolution to protest North Korea on April 6 and the House of Councilors on April 7.
These resolutions contain important problems.
The resolutions improperly concluded that North Korea launched a ‘missile’ even though the government has not yet determined whether it was a satellite or a missile.
The resolutions also prematurely concluded that North Korea’s action was ‘in violation of the United Nations resolutions.’
However, in the light of the government’s failure to definitely identify it as a missile, the Diet resolutions that employed U.N. Security Council Resolutions (1695 and 1718 banning North Korea from undertaking ‘missile-related activities’) are groundless.
The resolution calls on Japan to strengthen its own sanctions against North Korea. However, imprudent and unfounded calls for stronger sanctions would force Japan to further aggravate the situation.
The JCP demanded in the Diet that these points be corrected. As the Liberal Democratic Party, the Komei Party, and the Democratic Party of Japan did not want to consider the JCP position, we voted against the resolution. The frantic move toward strengthening sanctions sounds ‘patriotic’, but it in fact does no good and it will obstruct diplomatic efforts to resolve the matter.
Still more harmful is the call for military responses. While North Korea was preparing to launch a rocket, the government’s position was one of encouraging military response. Kyodo News published an editorial entitled ‘Diplomatic efforts, not aggressive remarks, are necessary.’ It said:
‘We cannot but question the posturing of Prime Minister Aso Taro, who representing Japan in the early stages of this affair, spoke of the possibility that Japan would intercept North Korea’s missile, a provocative announcement against North Korea. It should be the government mission to exert all diplomatic efforts in order to dissuade North Korea from carrying out a missile test. The prime minister went too far when he shouted, “Try it and we’ll show you what we can do!” It stands to reason that Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo said, “Preparing for a military response without making diplomatic efforts would undermine any diplomatic settlement.” Calm discussion without resorting to political calculations based on opportunism should be initiated”.’
This is a reasoned comment. The JCP supports its strong warning against the government being caught by ‘political calculations.’
Reasonable and impartial diplomatic effort is necessary
North Korea has not yet resolved international illegal actions it perpetrated in the past. This is why Japan should all the more strictly maintain the principle of engagement based on reason and impartiality. Unless Japan stands for this, imprudent calls for stronger sanctions and military responses would only cause Japan to lose its position of reasoned diplomacy and only worsen the situation.
In order to force North Korea to give up its nuclear programs and help to bring peace and stability to the region, the JCP position is that the need now is for the government to adopt an impartial and reasonable foreign policy stance on this issue.”
- Akahata, April 9, 2009