"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Announcement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki on Policies vis-à-vis North Korea

[Date] December 14, 1999
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

The Government of Japan welcomes the fact that a mission of Japanese parliamentarians of all the major political parties, led by former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, achieved its intended objectives, and takes seriously the joint announcement issued with the North Korean side.

As has been made clear in many instances, on the issue of the Korean Peninsula, Japan, the U.S. and the R.O.K., in close contact with each other, have been exploring ways of reducing "threats" that the three countries and North Korea perceive in each other along the approach jointly elaborated the initiative taken by Dr. Perry. In the course of time, certain positive moves have been witnessed such as progress in the U.S.-North Korea Talks, and the announcement by North Korea of moratorium on missile launching.

The Government of Japan deems that establishing a full-fledged forum for overall dialogue between the authorities of Japan and North Korea will contribute not only to redressing the anomalous Japan-North Korea relations, after World War II, but also to easing the tension on the Korean Peninsula and promoting Japan's security. Considering that the climate for dialogue fostered by the Murayama mission offers a good opportunity for proceeding with Japan-North Korea talks based on the policy of 'dialogue and deterrence', the Government of Japan has decided to seize this opportunity and start coordination toward the holding in the course of this year of preliminary talks for resuming normalization talks and talks on humanitarian issues between the Red Cross societies of the two countries.

The Government of Japan intends to seek positive responses from the North Korean side on the normalization and other issues in these talks. With a view to making the most of these opportunities, the Government of Japan has decided to lift the measures that it took in response to North Korea's missile launching in August last year, namely, measures to suspend, for the time being, normalization negotiations and food and other forms of assistance.

This decision means that Japan will restore its relations with North Korea to the status they had in August last year. It does not mean that Japan will begin normalization talks or extend food and other forms of assistance immediately. The Government of Japan will make a judgement from a comprehensive perspective on what concrete measures it will take on these matters after carefully watching the development of the preliminary talks and North Korea's responses.