Gov't to set up 7 panels to deal with abduction issue
The Japanese department in charge of the issue of abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korea announced plans this week to create seven subcommittees to be more proactive in resolving the issue.
Led by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, the government task force for the abduction issue said it plans to go on the offensive in light of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il’s death. The seven panels will be mobilized to gather information and work toward a solution to the problem that many Japanese citizens say hasn’t received enough attention in the past.
Relatives of the abductees have called on the government to take advantage of the transition of power in North Korea to approach Pyongyang on reopening the investigation.
The subcommittees will meet over the course of about two months, and will focus on strategy, enforcement, international cooperation and other themes. Each subcommittee will be headed by a senior vice minister.
Noda said, “Given the current North Korea situation, I want to lay out guidelines and strengthen our ability to resolve this issue,” NHK reported.
Noda has already asked Chinese and South Korean leaders to tell North Korea’s new leadership that it “must make progress” in addressing the aduction issue if bilateral ties are to be improved.