The General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryun) held a reception in Tokyo on May 24 to mark its 50th founding anniversary with about 1,000 guests, including foreign diplomats in Tokyo, attending.
Chongryun President So Man Sul opened the reception by stating, "The Pyongyang Declaration between Japan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has opened the closed door that has separated the two countries for more than a half century. It is a remarkable guidepost toward a new era. Despite many unsettled issues, I am convinced that DPRK-Japan relations will be normalized in line with the Pyongyang Declaration."
Speakers included representatives of the five Japanese political parties. The Liberal Democratic Party's representative read a message from Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro.
On behalf of the Japanese Communist Party, Central Committee Chair Fuwa Tetsuzo extended his congratulations to Chongryun's 50th founding anniversary and at the same time pointed out several questions that need to be settled by North Korea toward solving the present sensitive phase of Japan-North Korea relations. Then he raised a six-point proposal that calls for the resolution of the issues of abduction of Japanese nationals and nuclear weapons development in accordance with the Pyongyang Declaration which was agreed on by the leaders of both sides. (For the full text of Fuwa speech, see separate item.)
During the reception, Fuwa exchanged greetings with President So Man Sul and other Chongryun leaders as well as other participants from various circles.
Commenting on Fuwa's 6-point proposal after the reception, a veteran Chongryun activist said, "Mr. Fuwa gave a constructive and frank message, which is very clear."
A woman Chongryun activist stated, "His speech was very good. I was very impressed by his proposals and his commitment to solving the problems."
The following is the translation of the speech given by JCP Central Committee Chair Fuwa Tetsuzo at a reception held by the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryun) on the occasion of Chongryun's 50th founding anniversary.
I would like to offer my congratulations to you on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryun).
We wish you great success in your organization's activities to defend the living conditions and rights of Korean residents in Japan and in your efforts to achieve the establishment of relations of friendship and warm exchanges between Japan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea - permit me hereafter to refer the DPRK as North Korea.
We also believe it very important that your organization will be included in the North Korean delegation in future talks aimed at normalizing their relations between our two countries.
Both countries must hold fast to ther Pyongyang Declaration and give full play to its vigor
Given the present sensitive phase of Japan-North Korea relations, it is more important than ever for Japan and North Korea to hold fast to the Pyongyang Declaration which was signed at the summit talks in 2002 and subsequently reconfirmed in the summit talks in 2004. It is a comprehensive agreement that shows the goals and ways for the settlement of both the historical questions related to Japan's colonization of Korea and the immediate issues, including the abduction of Japanese nationals and nuclear development. It has significance as a road map. Although the talks have experienced twists and turns, neither side has discarded the Declaration. It is important for the two countries to together make efforts to let the Pyongyang Declaration act as a guide.
North Korea's initial decision in dealing with the abduction can lead to friendship if related issues are dealt with in earnest
In dealing with the abduction issue, it is necessary to be analytical. In the first Japan-North Korea summit which produced the Pyongyang Declaration, North Korea admitted that it had committed an international crime by kidnapping Japanese nationals. I suspect that North Korea needed to pluck up great courage to come to that decision. However, given the character of this affair, this one-time decision will not suffice. Naturally, many issues that have been raised must be resolved, Only if the two countries address each one of these issues in earnest and exert efforts to settle them, can they reach an overall settlement, which in turn will enable the initial decision to lead to a major path toward developing friendship and a relation of trust between our two countries. This can also contribute to improving relations between North Korea and the international community.
Progress in the abduction issue is only possible by resolving the question of North Korea's 'special unit'
The sequence of events in the last three years has shown both progress as well as set-backs, and bilateral talks are being suspended. When we were briefed by the Japanese government on the details of the Japan-North Korea talks, we were very surprised to discover one very critical fact that the so-called "special unit" that carried out the abductions, an international crime, still exists today with great authority and that its existence still exerts a negative influence on Japan-North Korea negotiations regarding the abduction issue. Unless obstacles arising from this fact are removed, the abduction talks will not make progress in a way that satisfies both sides, and the negotiations between Japan and North Korea will have no future.
It was for this reason that in December last year, we asked North Korea to appoint a delegation with greater authority to pursue the truth in the talks on the abduction issue without being influenced by the existence of the "special unit." I hope that you understand the meaning of this proposal.
Both countries should refrain from threatening to close the talks, resorting to 'policy of strength' or any other actions that run counter to the Pyongyang Declaration
Roads of negotiations between countries are not even. It may be the case with both sides of talks that one side takes an attitude that offends the other. State-to-state negotiations can proceed smoothly if the two sides seek to make progress through discussion that respects truth and reason in ironing out differences. Moreover, the present Japan-North Korea negotiations were begun based on accords stipulated in the Pyongyang Declaration signed by the leaders of the two countries. If one side tries to break off the talks or invokes a "policy of strength" because it does not like the attitude of the other side, it will go against he Pyongyang Declaration. Both sides should admonish each other for such acts.
The best security is guaranteed by the nuclear-free Korean Peninsula accord reached in the Six-Party Talks
On the issue of nuclear weapons, the Six-Party Talks are in place as the international framework for resolving the issue . If the Six-Party Talks reach agreement on this issue and achieve the goal of making the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free, this frame can be developed into a framework of ensuring the security of the participating countries. If a party to the talks tries to attack another country in disregard of such agreement, it will be thwarted by the other parties to the Six-Party Talks. In this sense, I think that the framework of the Six-Party Talks will necessarily develop into a new Southeast Asian framework for ensuring the security of the region's countries. With this prospect in mind, I would like to express my hope that North Korea will make serious efforts at the Six-Party Talks to achieve the fundamental goal of making the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free instead of taking the path of nuclear development that will be contrary to the universal task of the abolition of nuclear weapons.
We are ready to do all we can to help break the present stalemate
Although we have had no relations with North Korea's government or its governing party since the 1980s due to circumstance that you know well, we are ready to make every effort if there are any effective tasks we can undertake to help resolve the issues pending between Japan and North Korea to normalize relations between our two countries.
Five years ago, we normalized relations with Chongryun. I want to express my hope that our renewed relations will help to break the stalemate in Japan-North Korea relations and resolve the various issues and that the Pyongyang Declaration will serve to normalize relations between our two countries in accordance with the goal set by the Pyongyang Declaration. Thank you for your attention. - Akahata, May 25, 2005