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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid