Japan will demand answers from North Korea on promised abduction “reinvestigation”

So despite North Korea’s express agreement to provide Japan its “reinvestigation” report within a month, North Korea now says not so much. Anyone who doubted this outcome from the beginning (a) doesn’t know much about the history of North Korean diplomacy, or (b) lacks that kind of intelligence called “judgment.”

Japan will demand an explanation for the delay when officials from both sides meet in Shenyang, China, on Monday.

“What will result from the meeting? I’m not in a position to say… I can’t speak in detail about Japan’s expectations at this time,” Eriko Yamatani, Japan’s state minister in charge of the abduction issue, told reporters on Thursday.

“The way North Korea deals with this will affect not just the abductions… it is an important test of how serious it is about addressing its human rights abuses.” [The Guardian]

Which sounds like a veiled threat by Japan to support tougher action by the Security Council if North Korea doesn’t deliver. (I realize that the Japanese have always linked these issues, but they shouldn’t).

Abe must now decide if he’s going to spend the next two years being strung along, just like Glyn Davies, Chris Hill, Robert Gallucci, Roh Moo Hyun, Kim Dae Jung, and so many others before him.


  1. The sooner the Japanese government realizes the North is just dangling the abductees in front of their faces to extort concessions out of them, the better. I wouldn’t even entertain a discussion with the North until the abductees or their remains are on Japanese soil.


  2. The remains are the point in contention. I extremely doubt any of these people are still alive. Too embarrassing to have one of them show up on Japanese tv.