Abduction Must be Discussed in General Election

(*This is a draft translation of Rescue Abductees Japanese newsletter posted July 21, 2009)

Rescue Abductees held a press conference following the dissolution of the House of Representatives. It announced that it will conduct a survey for all candidates on their stance on the abduction issue. The results will be published as soon as they are compiled on its website.

Comments on the Upcoming General Election:
Shigeo Iizuka, FAVKN Chairman: We have spoke with all political parties in this general election to include the resolution of the abduction issue in their party manifestos and act on it once they are elected. Repatriating the kidnapped Japanese in North Korea is a non-partisan issue.

Shigeru Yokota: It seems that the North Korean government has not responded to serious interaction with Japan due to political instability. I hope that politics becomes more stable soon so that serious progress can be made to resolve this issue.

Akihiro Arimoto: There seems to be only few parliamentarians in both LDP and DPJ that have shown serious concerns over this issue. I hope that supporters of our organizations and our cause would support these candidates.

Teruaki Masumoto: I am deeply disappointed that the bill for the implementation of North Korean cargo inspection has been scrapped, now that the House of Representatives dissolved. The U.N. Resolution 1874 was a positive step for the international community to impose tough measures against North Korea. Although Japan was a strong advocate of this resolution, Japan is unable to implement the cargo inspection for the meantime.

Tsutomu Nishioka: I just returned from South Korea. Based on my conversations with North Korea experts and defectors there, Kim Jon-il is in critical condition. There will be a big change in North Korea soon.
I am told that South Korea and U.S. governments are preparing for the post Kim Jon-il situation. The elected party of this general election is likely to have to manage this critical situation in North Korea. I hope that it will be the government that would finally bring back Japanese citizens from North Korea. With imminent situation in North Korea, nuclear and missiles issues must also be discussed in this general election. Yet, most discussions among the candidates are inward-looking and lack the sense of urgency I observe from South Korea and U.S. National security and infringement of sovereignty should be important topics.

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