Kan demands N Korea reinvestigate abductions by Sept

Posted on June 12, 2011. Filed under: Child Abduction | Tags: , , , , , |

Friday 10th June, 03:05 PM JST      TOKYO         Japan Today

Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Friday reiterated a call for North Korea to reinvestigate the whereabouts of Japanese abductees by September, while instructing his ministers to consider toughening sanctions against Pyongyang if it fails to do so. ‘‘This is a problem that concerns human rights and people’s lives, so I am fully resolved to work on it,’’ he said at a meeting of the government panel on the abduction issue, according to a participant.

North Korea has not launched a reinvestigation even though the Japanese government decided last November on eight-point guidelines to deal with the matter, including the need for such a move and tougher sanctions against Pyongyang. ‘‘I’m very disappointed as we haven’t had tangible progress,’’ Kan was quoted as saying at the meeting.

During the meeting, he directed that an environment be prepared for a dialogue with North Korea, for international cooperation to be beefed up, and for intelligence gathering and analysis to be strengthened, according to Kansei Nakano, minister in charge of abduction issues.

The two countries agreed at working-level talks in August 2008 to establish a commission to reinvestigate the whereabouts of those North Korea says were already dead after they were abducted or had never entered the country.

But after Yasuo Fukuda announced his resignation as Japanese prime minister in September that year, North Korea conveyed to Japan that it had postponed establishing the commission.

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