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Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party Drafts North Korean Human Rights Bill

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party Drafts North Korean Human Rights Bill

Posted February. 04, 2005 22:55,   


Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has concluded its outline of the “North Korean Human Rights Law (tentatively named)” which contains an increase in financial assistance to NGOs engaged in improving the North’s human rights situation and permission of North Korean defectors who enter into Japanese missions to settle in Japan.

The LDP wrote a draft bill of the North Korean Human Rights Law, which primarily pertains to the protection of North Korean defectors, on February 3, and said that it would submit the bill to the regular parliamentary session early next month once the contents are finalized.

Japanese media said that the bill that Abe Shinjo, the LDP’s acting secretary general, who maintains a tough stance against the North took the lead in drawing up, contains similar contents as the North Korean Human Rights Act that the U.S. enacted last year, and that the bill is aimed at changing the North’s system through supporting North Korean defectors.

According to the draft bill, the Japanese government should help North Korean defectors who have entered Japanese missions settle in Japan (once they have cleared security), and give financial or other necessary assistance to domestic or international organizations that support North Korean defectors.

As the major opposition Democratic Party is also preparing a “Relief Bill from Human Rights Violations for North Koreans,” expectations are that the North Korea Human Rights Law would be enacted soon. The bill is the third legal sanction against the North following last year’s foreign exchange law, which limits cash remittance to the North, and the ban on certain ships entering Japanese ports.

The LDP has also decided to ban the importation of fish and shellfish from North Korea including short-necked clams and sea urchins, as a retaliation of Pyongyang’s Japanese abduction.

Won-Jae Park parkwj@donga.com