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

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

China-India Border Standoff Continues as Leaders Hold Summit

New Delhi accuses hundreds of Chinese soldiers of illegally entering Indian territory in disputed region of Ladakh More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid