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Japan Passes North Korean Rights Act

Posted June. 14, 2006 03:45,   


The Japanese Diet’s Lower House on June 13 passed a law on North Korea’s human rights.

The law requires the Japanese government to impose economic sanctions on North Korea and support North Korean defectors if the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea is not solved.

The law combines both the North Korea human rights law submitted by the ruling coalition parties and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), based on the ruling party’s proposal and adding the DPJ’s article on supporting North Korean defectors.

It is predicted that it will take roughly a month for the law to come into effect after passing the Upper House in June, approved by the Cabinet, and be promulgated.

As part of its pressuring North Korea to solve the abduction issue, Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe ordered officials to strengthen surveillance on North Korea’s “circumvention trading” with Japan, where North Korea uses a third country as an intermediate.

The Japanese government considers that after the abductions issue has surfaced, direct trade with North Korea is decreasing while circumvention trading, while trade with North Korea passes through Thailand and China is increasing.

Young-A Soh sya@donga.com