News / Asia

Japan FM Outlines North Korean Strategy in VOA Interview

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is interviewed by VOA, in Tokyo, Feb. 27, 2013.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is interviewed by VOA, in Tokyo, Feb. 27, 2013.
— Japan is holding out hope that a combination of more sanctions and the opportunity to return to dialogue will keep North Korea from further pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.  That emerged from an exclusive interview VOA correspondent Steve Herman conducted Wednesday with Japan's foreign minister in Tokyo.

While Japan expects the U.N. Security Council to enact fresh, tougher sanctions against North Korea, Japan's foreign minister, Fumio Kishida, voices continued hope for constructive diplomacy with Pyongyang

Kishida says Japan "needs to deal with North Korea in a balance between dialogue and pressure." He cites an agreement Tokyo and Pyongyang signed 11 years ago as the basis for this.  In that regard, the foreign minister says, Japan must "firmly and strongly continue to ask North Korea for a comprehensive resolution" of the issues of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development, as well as the unresolved abductions of Japanese citizens over decades by Pyongyang's agents.

A North Korean government-controlled web site in China (Uriminzokkiri) on Wednesday claimed Pyongyang is now secure from foreign attack because even the United States is now within range of its "strategic rockets and nuclear weapons."

Japanese and other diplomats contend Beijing has the most influence over Pyongyang in terms of modifying North Korean behavior.

Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 (R) cruises next to a Japan Coast Guard patrol ship, Akaishi, in the East China Sea near the disputed isles known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, Feb. 4, 2013.Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 (R) cruises next to a Japan Coast Guard patrol ship, Akaishi, in the East China Sea near the disputed isles known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, Feb. 4, 2013.
x
Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 (R) cruises next to a Japan Coast Guard patrol ship, Akaishi, in the East China Sea near the disputed isles known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, Feb. 4, 2013.
Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 (R) cruises next to a Japan Coast Guard patrol ship, Akaishi, in the East China Sea near the disputed isles known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, Feb. 4, 2013.
But Japan and China are not getting along, primarily because of the increasing number of air and sea confrontations between the two countries in waters surrounding uninhabited islands in the East China Sea controlled by Japan.

The Japanese foreign minister declares himself satisfied with Washington's support of Tokyo's territorial claims, although some in Japan have been hoping for more openly supportive rhetoric from U.S. officials.

Kishida says Washington's understanding was affirmed at last week's Japan-U.S. summit and this is important "in light of the escalation of Chinese actions and behavior."

In his interview with VOA, the foreign minister added that while Japan places emphasis on its partnership with the United States, which includes a military alliance, it is time for Tokyo to strengthen its own capabilities, including increasing defense expenditures as well as reviewing defense program guidelines.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, back in office for two months, is expected to push ahead with campaign pledges to make changes to the U.S.-imposed pacifist constitution Japan adopted after its defeat in the Second World War. Article 9 of the constitution includes language which forbids Japan from engaging in collective self-defense and forever renounces war or using force to settle international disputes. 

Some in Asian nations occupied by Japan during the early 20th century warn the changes would set the stage for Japan's return to the nationalism and militarism of the last century.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Pieternel from: the Netherlands
February 27, 2013 10:23 AM
Very important coverage from S.Herman to keep the window open about politics and nuclear developments in the Far-East,now the West is tangled in and put their focus on economic recession the danger elsewhere should not be forgotten.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid