politics

Human rights concerns bind U.S., S Korea with Japan over abductions

6 Comments
By Ko Hirano

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Ironically, it took pressure from parents' groups in the '70's to get the Japanese government off the mark. They were happy to do nothing about the missing Japanese after the Yodogo hijacking, as Japan had no diplomatic relations with the DPRK and they did not want to involve any other foreign power in negotiations. It was not until the kidnapping of Yokota Megumi that they took action - long after, it turns out, it had come to their attention that Japanese tourists in Madrid, Vienna and London were being kidnapped to the North. This is the same government that now uses this as a cudgel. See "Destiny" from the U. of Hawai'i Press for more.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

"Tokyo's lobbying of Washington and Seoul to take up the abduction issue during their leaders' planned meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reflects Japan's concern that the issue may get sidelined as the summits appear to be primarily focused on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

Because it SHOULD be primarily focused on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, plain and simple. This is not about the bilateral issue of abduction, which North Korea claims is resolved. Don't like that they claim as such? Neither do I, like I dislike Japan claiming anything it has done in history has been "settled" and "should be forgotten", and or "there is no issue", etc. I guarantee that Japan will try and take center stage as the victim of Asia and claim that that the abduction issue must be dealt with before any steps towards lifting sanctions, etc., which will give NK the perfect excuse to point out (correctly) Japan's hypocrisy and walking out of the room, derailing any talks and increasing tensions in the region again. I believe that the government thinks this is a win-win, too; if they make any progress by bringing the abduction issue to the forefront first, it is a victory. If NK walks away Abe can keep on claiming tensions are not his fault, and keep pushing for a change of the Constitution's article 9, military spending, and isolation of nations like China and NK, as well as bolstering support at a time when he needs it most, through nationalism and bombast that appeals to the right-wing.

The issue should be dealt with outside of the nuclear talks, not together, because if brought up it will stop talks of EVERYTHING, and all so Japan can play victim.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

In this regard, Japan took a very long time to sign the Den Haag agreement on parental abductions. Prior to that, Japan was (and might still be) the parental abduction capital of the world. Many of these abductees are my fellow American citizens. Their non-Japanese parents have been denied visitation rights. The Japan government has declared that it will only deal with parental abductions occurring AFTER they signed the Den Haag agreement. This is inhuman.

There is nothing worse than losing a child and it is even worse to be told (correctly or not) that your abducted child is dead. Nearly as terrible is losing a child who though alive you are doomed to never see again.

Yes, the "humanitarian concerns" over the Japanese abducted by North Korea are a vital issue. But in its own way the illegal abduction by Japanese of their non-Japanese children from their homelands is an issue that must not be ignored.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Smithinjapan is absolutely on the mark. Abe & Co. are transparently trying to piggyback on the proposed US-NK summit so as not to be left out in the cold. Plus Mr. Abe badly needs a distraction from the Moritomo scandal. Plus it reinforces the traditional Japanese view of themselves as victims. Plus it's all good for him if somehow the abduction issue muddies the waters and the main parties leave the talks dissatisfied. It's as cynical as it is hypocritical.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Korea and the US don't care about Japanese abductee situation, this is Japan's problem.

The only human rights issue that Korea cares about is that of comfort women forcibly conscripted by the Imperial Japanese military.

The only human rights issue that the US cares about is the human rights of US prisoners held by North Korea.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Pyongyang maintains that eight have died and the other four never entered the country.

I believe that Chubs does not know anything about it as he was either not born when it was and if it was happening and if so, it was his grandfather and or dad.

Let it go.

..and agree with Samit

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

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