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Japan to Enact North Korean Human Rights Law

Posted December. 19, 2004 22:49,   


The Nihon Keizai Shinbun reported on December 19 that the Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic Party, or LDP, started to prepare for formulating a North Korean Human Rights Law (the law’s tentative name).

The Liberal Democratic Party’s decision to throw its weight behind the enactment of the law, following the opposition Democratic Party, is interpreted as Japan’s intention to put more pressure on North Korea, a move that might signal a new bone of contention between Japan and North Korea.

According to the Nihon Keizai Shinbun, a simulation team to impose restrictions on North Korean economy in the LDP is to commence preparations for formulating the law on December 20 under the oversight of the LDP’s chief secretary Abe Shinjo, who maintains a hawkish stance towards the North Korean regime.

The Liberal Democratic Party plans to state in the bill that all aid to the North should be banned completely except for humanitarian aid unless the regime provides any plausible explanation about its abduction of Japanese citizens or its humanitarian conditions improve. Reports have it that ways to succor civil groups working for the improvement of human rights in the country will also be included in the bill.

The expected proposal is similar to the North Korean Human Rights Law enacted by the U.S. Congress and supported by vocal voices in Japan that a hawkish stand should be taken toward North Korea, following the reclusive regime’s delivery of fake remains of Japanese abducted to the country.

The LDP aims to introduce a single bill in cooperation with the main opposition Democratic Party after having coordinating meetings with the Coalition Komei Party once the framework of the bill is confirmed.

The Democratic Party already made it clear that it would prepare and submit a relief bill for North Korean human rights violations aimed at protecting North Korean defectors in the regular session of the Diet early next year.

Against this backdrop, Japanese political observers are predicting that there are ample chances that the ruling and opposition parties make and submit a collective bill to the Diet.

Meanwhile, North Korea is expected to oppose severely Japan’s North Korean Human Rights Bill as the regime has already said that the U.S. declaration of hostility against the North was an inducement for massive defections from the country. Moreover, a legislation of the bill early next year is expected to have a serious consequence on another round of six-way talks regarding the North’s nuclear programs.