News

    Japan Warns North Korea on Abduction Issue

    Japan has sternly demanded that North Korea come clean on the fate of missing Japanese it abducted years ago or face retaliation, possibly economic sanctions. North Korea has previously stated that it would consider sanctions tantamount to a declaration of war.

    The Japanese government says it has concluded that none of the recent evidence provided by North Korea concerning the abductees is credible.

    North Korea claims eight of the Japanese are dead and two others on Tokyo's list never entered North Korea.

    Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda on Friday issued one of Japan's most forceful statements yet on the matter.

    Mr. Hosoda says Japan strongly demands that North Korea return the survivors.

    Without a sincere response, Mr. Hosoda went on, Japan would have to take stern measures, though he did not say what they would be.

    Despite Mr. Hosoda's unusually blunt talk, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi says he still hopes dialogue will lead to a breakthrough.

    Mr. Koizumi tells reporters he will wait to see how Pyongyang responds before discussing possible sanctions.

    Most observers say sanctions would complicate attempts to get the North to return to talks on ending its nuclear weapons programs.

    The two Koreas, the United States, Japan, China and Russia have held three rounds of inconclusive talks. A fourth round, set for September, was never held because Pyongyang refused to attend.

    Public anger in Japan rose after Tokyo announced that tests showed remains Pyongyang handed over last month were not those of a missing Japanese woman, as North Korea had claimed.

    Tokyo on Friday said it would not return the cremated remains to North Korea, despite a request by Pyongyang for them.

    North Korea has admitted kidnapping 13 Japanese during the Cold War era to train its spies in Japanese language and culture.

    North Korea said the returned remains were those of Megumi Yokota, who was 13 when she was kidnapped from Japan. Pyongyang says she committed suicide at a hospital.

    Her father, Shigeru Yokota, on Friday said his government needs to tell Pyongyang time is running out.

    Mr. Yokota says Japan has to set a deadline for North Korea to submit evidence about the fate of the missing.

    Prime Minister Koizumi on Friday said he does not want to impose such a deadline.


    Steve Herman

    A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora