politics

Abe tells N Korea: Release Japanese abductees or no aid

66 Comments
By Mari Yamaguchi

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Other countries are going to get open doors to NK markets & business opportunities. Why would be bother looking for something he’s going to find hard to get. It’s not as if Japan had clean hands, besides, those kidnappes have been there 40- 50 years. What or to who are they going to ‘come back to’? Some years back Japanese born in China during the war and left there when escaping parents decided to leave them behind were not accepted by Tokyo. It’s the pride that’s killing Tokyo, not the yearning for their long lost children. Megumi & Co have lots of friends and family in NK, as odd as this may sound. They wouldn’t recognize this country at all now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its a fair point and a totally justified. In light of recent releases of US abductees in NK why shouldn't Abe ask for the same in return!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Abe's just screwed himself with this, since the US has stated it will give NK aid in return for certain concessions, none of which are the abductee issue. SK will also give aid, and so will other nations in order that the reclusive state open up. Japan will just alienate itself if it insists on this issue, which NK says is "resolved". They had a good chance to stick to their word and admit that Japan called for complete denuclearization (not resolution of the abductee issue) in exchange for resuming aid, but now Abe, seeking to score political points, has once again made sure Japan will be left in the dust.

It'll be less than a week after the NK meet with Trump is set that Abe will start nipping at his heels again, asking if Trump can assure the abductee issue get mentioned in any meeting, even though Japan cannot take part.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

tina - According to sources, Ito was initially quite respectful towards Korea and looked at helping it achieve modernisation without severe forceful measures. Unfortunately he moved away from such and followed the wishes of the ever growing powerful Imperial Japanese Army for full annexation. It was on his watch that Japan took full control of Korea. His assassination was a result of this as hatred of the occupiers increased.

And your claim re the CIA was responsible for his death seems strange considering the CIA only emerged in the post WW2 era.

It seems possible, that if the IJA were never able to exert domestic and international military and social control like they did, there would be minimal angst in the region today. Perhaps(???) even there would be no NK for Abe to be directing terms to.

Collectively the IJA and it's civilian supporters destroyed Japan, making enemies in Korea & China in hte process.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Every door not well-welcomed + ignored. That's what a salesman at the door or a businessman to make agreement in the contract with a client need good experience and be very expert on it, the proceed he didn't express anyway in his actions. For me he is doing for his reputation where the NK abducted families are hopeless with less expectation. To open the door is simple, but to be open from the other side, hmm...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is PM Abe talking about.

Both President Trump and President Moon have already said that they would take this matter to heart during furrher negociations with Kim Jong Un.

And North Korea have not requested any aid from Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Europe have no money because of the burden by PIGS. US hasn't recovered from Lehman shock. Therefore, it is only Japan which pay economic aid. These days, executives of major foreign firms are visiting Japanese 3 mega banks though you guys don't know such things. So, if NK and other fellows want money, they have to ask Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kim Jong Un is setting a political conundrum, a trap for President Trump, aided and abetted by the Government of China.

The Government of Japan should remain a spectator , discretion is the better part of valour or perhaps disposition?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good move, with Trump’s obtaining the US Hostages as pralude to hismeeting - Abe s righton que!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If I were Kim I'd tell Abe apologize and offer lifetime reparations for what Japan did to Korea, get the nukes hidden on bases in Japan outa there, ditto for all missiles, cease and desist all Japanese anti-Korean demonstrations lock up the culprits, face up to Japan's own abysmal abductions record then maybe Kim will talk.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Lest you all forget that the entire Japanese population have been giving aid to NK for decades though the "pachinko" parlors owned and run primarily by NK living in Japan sending indirect aid to NK and fronted by SK companies that make all the machines used by them. The NK and SK ties were always there in spite of the rhetoric one hears in the news and from politicians. In fact most Japanese that do go to the "pachinko" parlors are aware of that and even give their opinions regarding the situation. The government really did not publicize it since they are getting huge tax revenues. One reason why they don't even try to control the "gambling" nature and issues with pachinko.

In this case Abe needs to be in the picture with NK, not so much for the abductee issue, but as many have already stated, the need for "positioning" and to "offer" alternatives, not threats to Kim. Be it in the quantity or the kind of "aid" that Japan can "offer" if and when Trump strikes a "peace" accord with NK with the condition to stop further nuclear and missile development and to "ally" with US allies, Abe needs to let Kim now that Japan is "here" and "there" for NK.

Since Japan can really "offer" extensive "aid" to NK by being one of the closest neighbors with that ability and capability, he needed to use that as a "condition" to settle the abductee issue along with other issues not mentioned in this article. For politics and domestic population he probably used the abductee issue as he had been since the beginning.

We must always remember that articles such as this is the writers "opinionated" article and the editor's choice of wording of the title relating to an event. Thus the rather slanted and misleading title.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Ganbare Japan!

I see very close friendship between PM Abe and Kim-san and Japan-NK once the issue is resolved very soon.

That would be a negative not a positive and one Kim Jong-Un would take advantage of. Resolve the problems, yes! but at whatever the final outcome is, PM Abe and the other leaders, Trump and Moon needs to keep him at arms length for safety. He's still a brutal dictator and leopard does not change its spots.

Out of the leaders, Trump, Moon and Xi, Abe is fortunate to be able to stand back and watch what is happening before jumping in feet first.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

PM Abe and Kim-San will rule their respective nation for several years to come.even if haters disagree. Fostering a helping and peaceful relation with the new North Korea is a big boost to both nations, in economics and goodwill.

I see very close friendship between PM Abe and Kim-san and Japan-NK once the issue is resolved very soon.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

North Korea went through decades without any aid from Japan, actually from all of the developed countries. and now that America, China and South Korea are offering their help Abe is coming from behind threatening that he's not joining unless NK releases the abducted Japanese (who from all we know can be deceased).

Seriously even a kid would have understood by now that threats won't work with NK, they haven't worked before so why would they start working now.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Interesting that Abe is at least talking about aid to North Korea. A short while ago it appeared we were close to war.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

OssanAmericaToday 09:30 am JST

North Korea has already said they are prepared to discuss the abductee issue. These comments berating Abe on this issue are pointless.

Given that the North Koreans are indeed open to discussions on the issue Abe's comments also seem a bit pointless. Unless, that is, they were aimed at maintaining the pretence for credulous Japanese voters that what Abe wants or thinks is really all that important to the Americans, Chinese and Koreans.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Resolution of Japanese abductees issue is a must before any resumption of economic aid from Japan to North Korea can start , is the right approach adopted by PM Abe. This matter has been agitating the minds of Japanese people for a long time .tIme has now come for the final settlement of this issue.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Show of strength from Prime Minster Abe. Japan absolutely wants to be biggest partner... . but need the imprisoned kidnapees all returned and accounted for. Excellent move by PM Abe.

What excellent move did Abe make?

All he did was create a headline sound bite for the media...without any substance, thats all. Come to think of it, thats pretty much all he has done in the past 6 years so I guess he is at least consistent. Now, where is that 3rd arrow again Shinzo ?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

North Korea and Kim is really in trouble as a result of U.S. sanctions. The world economy is controlled by U.S. for the reason that dollar is the world currency. North Korea 's trade and assets are also possible using U.S. dollars. If it is frozen, they are helpless.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Empty tins make the loudest noise. Whatever happened to the arrows? Lol. The japanese populace is woefully pathetic.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Abe is seriously jealous he doesn't have the same international clout as President Donald Trump.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

And why does he think N Korea will need there aid, S Korea on its own own will take care of all the aid, modernization etc, not to mention US and Chinese firms getting there share of the development pie. N Korea has huge deposits of rare earth elements, China already has access to this and now S Korea and US firms will also get there share, Japan as such does not picture anywhere.

Now this summit will be held in Singapore, had there been some real foreign policy experts in japan and had Abe shown some statesmanship this summit could have very well been held in Tokyo with Abe leading the way. Now Singapore which is relatively neutral will get more importance than Japan, not to mention business with N / United Korea.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

He's not really in a position to dictate terms. Not doing what they're already not doing in terms of aid is not a very compelling argument, and Kim is attempting to do an end-run around Japan's insistence on their return by seeking funds elsewhere. In all honesty, the last thing Abe wants to have to deal with at this point is the real story behind the abductions, and the fact that the GoJ renewed the travel documents of three the women responsible for most of the abductions from Europe until 1998.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Leave it to Abe to ruin a potentially good thing.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

It seems K.J. has no interests with Mr.Abe's appeal!

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

GW, don't worry. When China is strong enough, when United Korea is strong enough, then Japan will apologize accordingly. When the United State of Northeast Asia is strong enough, then the world will sing the East is red, the Sun is Bright.

-18 ( +2 / -20 )

Hahaha. Watch how fast he back pedals.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Alfie Noakes, give Abe a chance and he will show you that he still does nothing.

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Abe should visit NK as quick as possible if he cares about the issue. Do it in a way that is acceptable to NK people. First, apologize for the crime committed by past Imperialism Japan. Then, privately ask for the information about people he concerned about, or seek help to find the information. After that, he may ask for a meeting with them. Finally, politely ask the people concerned if they would like to return back to Japan.

Problem here is abe & Japan as a whole still don't admit history wrt to the 1930-40's so above wont work likely

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sayonara Shinzo. 6 years of absolutely nothing. Moon's been in charge of Korea for a year and is on the verge of ending the Korean War and bringing peace to the peninsula. Even the bankrupt orange fraud in Washington is coming out of this with some credit, if only because of his narcissistic desire to be the centre of attention. Let's hope Mr. Kono can do a better job for Japan. Mind you, he couldn't be much worse than silver spoon Shinzo.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

While some sort of official peace between Japan and North Korea, and establishing diplomatic relationships would be beneficial it would also require large amounts of some sort of aid deal. Japan rarely gives aid money without strings attached. They always want something in return.

America is willing to buy the "denuclearization" and the end of war treaty can be achieved between the two Koreas. There're the missiles which will be part of the "denuclearization package" and then the more than 25 deadly chemical agents and nerve gas in the North Korean arsenal.

How much is North Korea is willing to give up, and how far is it willing to go. No regime change, no end of the one party state, the brutal oppression of its people. The killings, torture and gulag political prison with an estimated more than one million inmates.

How much is Trump and America willing to accept and how much willing to ignore the parts did probably can't change so that Trump can claim a major success and his version of "world peace."

"Foreign aid is a key instrument of international engagement in Japan’s foreign policy toolkit. Although Tokyo is no longer the world’s top aid donor that it once was in the 1990s, it still was the world’s number four aid donor in 2015 with close to a US$10 billion annual budget."

Japan continues to give $1.2 billion in aid to China every year. Not sure the benefits of that since China is now the second largest world economy.

"Japan’s generosity has historically been driven at least in part by a desire to make amends for its invasion of China in the 1930s."

There are greater problems between Japan and China than between Japan and North Korea so the main focus of attention should be on that and finding solutions to all the major issues.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Abe should visit NK as quick as possible if he cares about the issue. Do it in a way that is acceptable to NK people. First, apologize for the crime committed by past Imperialism Japan. Then, privately ask for the information about people he concerned about, or seek help to find the information. After that, he may ask for a meeting with them. Finally, politely ask the people concerned if they would like to return back to Japan.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

our dear leader is throwing away an opportunity to get access to the worlds second biggest rare earth metals and access to one of the regions cheapest labor. Great job abe.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

GW, it is unfair to say that Abe has zero influence. Give him 0.1 % for being a Japanese PM, would you ?

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

geronimo2006, your solution is even more stupid than Abe's. It is illegal to detain even half of a North Korean, let alone equal number.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Fortunately abe has pretty much zero influence in all this & if he pushes this too much he is going to end up looking rater badly.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Abe is shrewd, no doubt about it. But Abe should change his pattern of being victim. In fact, the real victims are neighbors. If Abe had a good relationship with neighbors in the past 5 years, many issues might not be issues anymore. That is why it is urgent to establish the United States of Northeast Asia at earliest date possible.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Quietly detain equal number of NKs and then start closing down any NK connected businesses (pachinko etc). Trump has shown the Kim regime will change it's tune real fast when pushed hard. And don't say anything.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

"I will not just sit and talk for nothing," he said.

Isn't it what he did for years now ???

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Sorry for the families but Japan is very Bipolar over this issue which can't be resolved because either the remaining abductees don't want to return or most likely as North Korea stated they are deceased. America is offering big money and aid in return for denuclearization.

Even if denuclearization happens Kim Jong-Un and his dictatorship oppressed country is going nowhere.

PM Abe needs to drop the whole abduction adventurism if he really wants to achieve a peace with North Korea but he probably believes that would threaten his claim for changing the constitution.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

North Korea has already said they are prepared to discuss the abductee issue. These comments berating Abe on this issue are pointless. And as mentioned above no one is asking for their "release" since we don't know if they are alive.

iworld99Today 07:30 am JST

Whatever amount of aid Japan think it is willing to give, South Korea can do 10 times or even 100 times better.

This is really funny!

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Abe is exploiting the abductions issue to vainly save the wreck of his career as PM.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

I think it's fair enough, but Japan should not hereafter opine about being left out of talks, or talk about needing more defense against Noth Korea when it is seeking peace and achieving it with the US and SK. This is the ONLY thing Abe can do with NK, and now that he's played this card I suspect he's going to go back to asking the US and Moon to ask NK directly to deal with the issue because he won't be able to approach Kim himself.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

If you give NK aid, they you increase your influence and improve the chances for a positive outcome. But I wonder if the Japanese who have been living in NK for 30 or 40 years would want to return to Japan. Maybe they just made a new life for themselves in NK.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

PM Abe would love the Summit with Kim-San, will be a great friendship going forward. but ONLY after a gaurantee the 17 kidnapees are released from their prison. The choice is now Kim-Sans to think over,and get back to PM Abe next week.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Besides, we don't know where are these Japanese located now. They may be in South Korea, or in China, or in Russia, or in anywhere. People move, you know that, don't you ?

People just don't "move" from North Korea. You know that, don't you?

13 ( +15 / -2 )

It would first need to be established that there are living abductees in NK and who they are.

If you cant do that then there is no issue to resolve.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

This is funny...Shinzo trying to appear the tough guy for his domestic base to finally try and turn around his flagging poll numbers. This ' do as I say or there will be no aid' grandstanding would work better if NK was actually receiving on asking for Japanese aid. Since thats not the case it sounds rather hollow as anyone with a brain cell can see. Shinzo,s lapdog base will no doubt hail it as an example of what a great , strong leader he is and try to use it to divert focus from the ongoing MoF / Kake / Moritomo / twit Aso ongoing saga.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Show of strength from Prime Minster Abe. Japan absolutely wants to be biggest partner and invester in the new North Korea, so much potential for trade, investment, Fast Train and Airports. but need the imprisoned kidnapees all returned and accounted for. Excellent move by PM Abe.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

I feel Abe is accusing North Korea to hide the negligences of  the then Japanese police and the government.  When the abductions happened 30 or 40 years ago, they did not know why and where they disappeared. They were settled only as missing persons. The family of the abductees have right to sue the government and the police for their negligences.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

purely for Japnese consumption.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

gaijinpapa, where did you get the idea that I said it OK ? There are many ways to do it. If you agree with what Abe did, would you agree with NK if they ask Japan to compensate for 50 years occupation first ? Both China and South Korea are helping Japan on the issue and trying to get NK and Japan to talk to each other. Abe should trust neighbors that Japan isn't alone and response in kind.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Wolfpack, Abe doesn't have to behave like a bad boy. As I said, there is an Asian way to do this. Besides, we don't know where are these Japanese located now. They may be in South Korea, or in China, or in Russia, or in anywhere. People move, you know that, don't you ?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

China, meets with NK to denuclearize Korean peninsula and aim for peace. South Korea, meets with NK to denuclearize Korean peninsula and aim for peace. America will meet with NK to denuclearize Korean peninsula and aim for peace. Nuke program halted, missile launches halted, Americas released from NK. History in the making and all seems to be very forward moving. And then there is Japan, NO talks with NK to denuclearize Korean peninsula and aim for peace. Only threats. Something is not right here.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

“. No one can force them go anywhere except themselves. What if they have wonderful life and many children already ?”

so so you think it’s okay for North Korea agents to come into Japan, steal a girl from a beach, imprison her, shoot missiles over Japan , keep her and others for decades, send ashes of a different person saying she died...... and Japan should give aid and ask “are the people you kdnapped okay? And if Kim who murders, imprisons and starves his own people while threatening routinely to blow up Japan- can answer “they said their just doing swimmingly and live me and their life here” that Japan should reply “Jolly good, would you like your aid in ten or dollars?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good for Abe. And notice how Kim is forcing distance between the US and Japan?

I do.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Abe has to say no aid for no resolution to the abductees issue. Trump got the American hostages freed and Abe would be judged a weak leader by the Japanese people if he did not seek the same deal for Japan.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Abe tells N Korea: Release Japanese abductees or no aid

Ooooow- That's telling them Abe!

It's really the only card he has to play in this game. This ultimatum of sorts is also an appeal to the domestic audience, so he can appear "strong" and a "leader", and that the public hopefully overlooks the fact that it has been because of the efforts of SK, USA, China, and NK itself that things have progressed as fast as they have.

Absolutely. Excellent post.

And if NK comes in from the cold and has better relations with other countries that can give it aid what do they care about Japan?

Abe feels left on the sidelines and it hurts his narcissistic pride to not be included.

Exactly. He's embarrassing himself at this point.

This kind of talk should have been many many years ago.

The abductee issue is only raised when politically expedient.

Pretty sad these poor people and their families are used in this way.

My friend, this is the LDP we are talking about.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

iworld99, Abe still can be a big financier, and compensate in a very generous way, as expected from international community.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

It is too late. When did the abductions happen and what did the government do at that time? Abe is only using the issue as a political tool. Nonsense!

3 ( +19 / -16 )

Whatever amount of aid Japan think it is willing to give, South Korea can do 10 times or even 100 times better.

North Korea's leader already met South Korea's Leader, China's Leader and have release Americans back to America and will meet USA's leader soon. And then, what have Japan contributed or gotten so far to/from this current negotiation? Nothing.

Japan really overestimate its importance or significance on this matter.

0 ( +20 / -20 )

Desperate, his blue badge is no longer giving him any relevance in diplomatic affairs. Other countries are having adult conversations. LDP are still stuck in 1930. He should summon world leaders? Or play a round of golf, have a hamburger.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

As Yubaru has said.

Abe feels left on the sidelines and it hurts his narcissistic pride to not be included.

This kind of talk should have been many many years ago.

Pretty sad these poor people and their families are used in this way.

-2 ( +16 / -18 )

Abe how ? Abe should first ask NK if these Japanese are OK. No one can force them go anywhere except themselves. What if they have wonderful life and many children already ?

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

The headline is somewhat misleading - "release the abductees or no aid" isn't the same as "resolve the abductee issue or no aid."

25 ( +25 / -0 )

It's really the only card he has to play in this game. This ultimatum of sorts is also an appeal to the domestic audience, so he can appear "strong" and a "leader", and that the public hopefully overlooks the fact that it has been because of the efforts of SK, USA, China, and NK itself that things have progressed as fast as they have.

7 ( +24 / -17 )

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