"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] Statement by Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the Announcement by the Red Cross Society of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Regarding the Resumption of the Project to Investigate the Situation of the "Missing Persons" and its Proposal to hold the Japan-North Korea Red Cross Talks

[Date] March 25, 2002
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1. When the North Korean Red Cross announced in December last year that it would completely abandon the project to investigate the situation of the "missing persons" requested by Japan, Japan denounced it as totally unacceptable and expressed its regret. This time, Japan cannot accept the claim of the Red Cross denying the suspicion about the abduction of Ms. Keiko Arimoto.

2. On the other hand, the North Korean Red Cross publicly announced that it would resume the investigation of the situation of the "missing persons," and the Government of Japan recognized it as a positive movement responding to Japan's strong request for the resumption since the end of last year.

3. In any case, the Government of Japan will take every opportunity to continue to strongly request from the North Korean side a solution of the abduction cases.

4. Regarding the Japan-North Korea Red Cross Talks, announced by the Red Cross society of the DPRK this time, which have been halted since the Talks of March 2000, the Government of Japan recognizes it as one of the signs of North Korea's movements responding to Japan's repeated calls for talks between Japan and North Korea. In order to consult on investigation of the situation of the "missing persons," the issue of the homecoming visits of the Japanese spouses of North Korean nationals and others, the Government of Japan intends to adjust the schedule with the persons concerned, aiming at having more Talks soon.