What Japan should do regarding North Korea issue

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo commented on the recent developments regarding North Korea in the Executive Committee report to the 6th Plenum of the JCP Central Committee on July 11 as follows:

On June 26, North Korea turned over the details of its nuclear programs to China, which chairs the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programs. Following this, the United States started a process of removing North Korea from its list of states sponsoring terrorism.

The JCP issued a statement saying that "the JCP welcomes this move as a step forward toward making the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons, based on the agreement reached," and that "[T]he JCP strongly hopes that this process will lead to North Korea abandoning its nuclear weapons program."

Regarding the recent developments, some people argue, "If the settlement of (North Korea's) nuclear issue comes first, the abduction (by North Korea of Japanese nationals) would be put on the backburner." This view is based on the misunderstanding of the international community's ongoing efforts.

Countries concerned are basing their current efforts on the September 2005 agreement reached at the six-party talks. The agreement includes the following common goals: (1) the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through peaceful means; (2) normalization of relations between the United States and North Korea as well as between Japan and North Korea based on the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration; and (3) joint efforts for lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia." It also stipulated, "The six parties should take coordinated steps to implement their agreement in a phased manner and in line with the principle of 'commitment for commitment, action for action'." This means that if one party takes positive steps, the other party would do the same, and that the parties seek a phased resolution based on agreements instead of trying to resolve all pending issues simultaneously.

A comprehensive approach to the solution of the matter should be to the establishment of lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

In light of the agreement, the recent U.S. and North Korean moves mark a step forward toward making the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons and normalizing their bilateral relations. These moves will help resolve the pending issues between Japan and North Korea, including the abduction issue, rather than hampering them.

The JCP believes that it is important for the Japanese government to tackle the following diplomatic tasks:

(1) Japan should act in favor of the current moves to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Japan would come under threat if North Korea develops nuclear weapons. If Japan takes the lead in working to resolve this issue, it will also help increase international understanding of and support for Japan's effort to settle the abduction issue.

(2) Japan needs to draw up a diplomatic strategy based on the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration to seek a comprehensive resolution to all pending issues, including the nuclear program, abductions, and the settlement of historical questions. In this regard, it is noteworthy that the United States, after moving away from its "putting pressure" policy toward North Korea, has been pursuing negotiations with North Korea in a phased manner and in line with the principle of 'commitment for commitment, action for action'.

The JCP has maintained that the framework of the six-party talks should be developed into one of securing Northeast Asian peace and stability even after the resolution of the nuclear issue. It is important that the countries concerned are making progress in this effort. I sincerely hope that this effort will make further progress toward establishing "lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia."

As we work to end Japan's extraordinary subservience to the United States, we should note that the JCP Program's position in support of international peace based on the United Nations Charter is corresponding to the actual developments in Japan and the rest of the world as well as to the movement now underway in Northeast Asia.  

- Akahata, July 13, 2008

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
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