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Japan’s Opening Permanent Liaison Office in Pyongyang

Posted September. 03, 2002 22:27,   


Ashahi Shimbun reported on September 3, 2002, that the Japanese government is considering setting up a permanent liaison office in Pyongyang, which is triggered by the North-Japan summit scheduled in Pyongyang on Sep. 17.

Regarding this matter, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said in a press conference on Sep. 3, “If necessary, we may maintain the liaison office now set up in Pyongyang in preparation of the summit, even after the summit is over.”

While Japan has The North Koran Communists Party in Japan, which operates as a diplomatic channel between Japan and North Korea, in North, there is no diplomatic organization representing Japan.

Japan has set up a temporary liaison office in downtown Pyongyang in preparation of the summit. Accordingly, 14 Japanese officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defense Agency were dispatched there and began preparation as of Sep. 3.

In the meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced on September 2 that Japan would not enter the official relations with North unless some matters like abduction of Japanese are not resolved. Japanese Prime Minister, who is now attending the Earth Summit in South Africa, made the remarks in a meeting with the press covering the summit. He also reportedly said that he would decide on North Korea’s demand for compensation for forced labor under Japanese occupation after meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jung-il.

Young-Ee Lee yes202@donga.com