Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro held talks with North Korean National Defense Commission Chair Kim Jong Il on May 22 in Pyongyang and reconfirmed that the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration which they signed in September 2002 continues to be the basis of Japan-North Korea relations.
At a news conference following the talks, Prime Minister Koizumi said, "I wanted to talk in a broader perspective that replaces hostile relations between our countries with relations of friendship and cooperation that will be in the best interests of both countries."
In a comment published on the same day, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi stated as follows:
Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro and North Korean National Defense Commission Chair Kim Jong Il reconfirmed that the Japan North Korea Pyongyang Declaration concluded in September 2002 continues to be the basis of Japan-North Korea relations. They reached some agreement on the issues of the abduction of Japanese nationals, nuclear weapons and missiles, and humanitarian assistance. They also confirmed their willingness to make progress toward normalization talks. We welcome this outcome.
The JCP also welcomes the return to Japan of the family members of the Chimuras and the Hasuikes who returned together with the prime minister. We hope that the Sogas will discuss ways to solve their problems.
Concerning the abductees who are still missing, North Korea reportedly promised to carry out investigations. We hope that the Japanese government will make efforts on its own to achieve concrete results.
To resolve the pending issues one by one, including the nuclear issue, at the six-party talks, and to eventually normalize diplomatic relations between Japan and North Korea will be an important step toward ensuring peace and security for Japan in the future and achieving peace and stability in Northeast Asia, the region which has a stake in maintaining good relations with Japan.
The JCP, which has been consistently working for the issues between Japan and North Korea to be resolved reasonably through peaceful talks, will continue to work for peace.
The Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration was signed between Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro and Chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Kim Jong-Il on September 17, 2002, at the first-ever Japan-DPRK summit.
It states that the two leaders agree to resume Japan-North Korea talks aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between Japan and North Korea in October 2002.
In the declaration, Japan expressed its deep remorse and heartfelt apology for its past colonization of the Korean Peninsula, and North Korea promised to take preventive measures to deal with issues of concern related to the lives and security of Japanese nationals.
Koizumi and Kim also confirmed that they would comply with all related international agreements for an overall resolution of the issues of the nuclear development program and promote dialogues among countries concerned.