The abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea.

Petition by Shigeo Izuka, president of AFVKN

(exceptional meeting Tokyo 17.09.2012)

Shigeo Izuka
(the elder brother of Yaeko Taguchi,a vitim of abduction)

«10 years ago, five victims abducted by North Korea returned to Japan. It’s been 10 years now that each day we hope for the return of other victims.

If there are no formal diplomatic relations between the two countries, and it is difficult to establish consultations, it is evident, for organising the unpardonable kidnappings of innocent victims, that North Korea is a criminal state. For the families and victims involved, North Korea is an enemy country.

It is in this spirit that we have so far expressed our anger in the face of North Korea. With the support of public opinion, indeed all of you, the Japanese government has continued to treat this issue as a major topic in Japan.

For North Korea to open negotiations itself, it must come under pressure. It is thanks to considerable pressure from the United States on North Korea that 10 years ago, the summit between Koizumi and North Korean authorities could take place. At the time, America defined the country as belonging to the «axis of evil≫ and called it a « terrorist state», forcing North Korea to take a step towards Japan on the abduction issue.

4 years ago, North Korea promised to reopen the investigation into this problem only because the Japanese government officially adopted and applied repressive measures.

This time, the implementation of new inter-governmental negotiations will be crucial, and North Korea undoubtably expects Japan to lift its sanctions against it. We are facing an enemy, and facing a criminal state it is not conceivable to offer our assistance, whether financial or material.

We have taken into account the situation of other countries that have undergone kidnappings and we have visited them to obtain their collaboration in this common struggle. We have often felt, however, that this problem wasn’t widely known among the public, and the victims’ families were quite isolated in their suffering.

We have also co-ordinated with various agencies close to the United Nations, and the Security Council has admitted its powerlessness to impose constraints on North Korea. As for the resolution on the situation of human rights in North Korea, the number of countries which have adopted it is increasing, but the North Korean authorities do not seem to care. And they do nothing to improve the conditions in the country. The Japanese government must negotiate with force.

We have always believed that the problems with North Korea will not be solved if we show them any mercy.»