Meeting with Families of Abductees and Others

March 1, 2023
[Provisional translation]
On March 1, 2023, Prime Minister Kishida held a meeting with families of abductees and others at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Prime Minister Kishida said in his remarks,
“We have just received an action policy from the members of the Association of Families (of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN)) and the National Association for the Rescue (of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea (NARKN)). The Government will take the content of the action policy to heart, and I intend to continue to make every effort with the resolve to settle the abductions issue with my own hands.
In January, I visited France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, and affirmed continued collaboration in the response to North Korea, including the abductions issue, with these countries.
In the Japan-U.S. summit meeting, I sought the continued understanding and cooperation of the U.S. toward the immediate resolution of the abductions issue and gained once again full support from President Biden. We also reaffirmed the commitment by the U.S. to the immediate settlement of the issue in the Joint Statement of the United States and Japan.
In addition to making such appeals to the international community, what is crucial above all is Japan’s own initiatives.
With regard to Japan-North Korea relations, we will work to comprehensively resolve outstanding issues of concern, including the abductions, nuclear, and missile issues, in accordance with the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration. In particular, the abductions issue is a serious human rights issue with time restrictions, and there is no time to lose before its resolution. We will keep all options open and do our utmost to boldly tackle the issue, so that we can bring back all the abductees home at the earliest possible date.
Establishing a constructive relationship between Japan and North Korea will not only serve the interests of both sides but also contribute greatly to regional peace and security. I reiterate my determination to meet face-to-face with Chairman Kim Jong-Un without any conditions.
As has already been reported, your wishes behind today’s action policy – the policy contains the wording that ‘We will not oppose humanitarian assistance if the immediate and simultaneous return of all the abductees is realized while their family members in the parent generation are still alive.’ This has already made headlines, and I strongly feel that the Government must once again take seriously the fact that the members of the AFVKN and NARKN state such earnest wishes. Laying these wishes to heart, the Government will go all out to continue our efforts. I would like to ask for your continued guidance. Thank you very much.”

Related Link

Archives (Archived entries for the 98th through 100th prime ministers)