Leaders of the Group of Eight nations meet in Japan Monday to discuss
how to tackle climate change, soaring fuel prices and the global food
crisis. Sunday, U.S. President George Bush said the United States will not sacrifice
Japan's concerns about abducted citizens in order to achieve progress
on North Korea's nuclear weapons. VOA's Kurt Achin reports from
northern Japan, where Mr. Bush held a summit with the Japanese prime
minister prior to the start of this week's meeting of leaders from
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
says he reminded President Bush Sunday that recent progress on ending
North Korea's nuclear programs leaves plenty of work ahead.
Fukuda says it is extremely important that North Korea's recent nuclear
declaration be verified, and the future progress on the nuclear issue
go hand in hand with progress on the issue of abducted Japanese
North Korea has admitted abducting at least 13
Japanese national in the 1970s and 80s. Japan believes there were more
abductions, and is holding back aid from the North until it feels
Pyongyang has been more forthcoming on the issue.
thanked Mr. Fukuda for his gift of a book by the mother of Megumi
Yokota, a young girl who has become a symbol of the abduction issue
here in Japan.
"As the father of little
girls, I can't imagine what it would be like to have my daughter just
disappear. Mr. Prime Minister, as I told you on the phone when I've
talked to you in the past, the United States will not abandon you on
this issue," said Mr. Bush.
North Korea's declaration
mentions nothing about how many nuclear weapons Pyongyang possesses or
where they are. It also does not mention suspected uranium enrichment
and nuclear assistance to other countries like Syria. Mr. Bush said he
is concerned about the missing elements, and that pressure will remain
"North Korea is the most
sanctioned nation in the world, and will remain the most sanctioned
nation in the world. And the way for them to get off their sanctions
is to honor their commitments in a verifiable fashion," he added.
Minister Fukuda is hosting President Bush and the leaders of 19 other
countries at the so-called "G-8" gathering of advanced industrial
nations here on Japan's Hokkaido island. Mr. Fukuda is expected to
push for a firm commitment toward reducing greenhouse gases blamed for
Mr. Bush says any set of climate goals without the world's two fastest emerging economies on board is in trouble.
be constructive. I've always advocated that there needs to be a common
understanding, and that starts with a goal," he said. "And I'm also realistic
enough to tell you that if China and India don't share that same
aspiration, then we're not going to solve the problem."
food and energy prices, as well as cooperative aid efforts for
sub-saharan Africa, are also expected to dominate this week's G-8