"Will Tokyo and Pyongyang be able to Solve the Abduction Issue?"
Sebastian Maslow, Research Fellow, German Institute for Japanese Studies
Hideshi Takesada, Professor of Graduate School, Takushoku University
Tuesday, July 08, 2014, 12:30 - 14:00
At first it looked like the talks between North Korea and Japan in Stockholm at the end of May had ended inconclusively. But then both sides announced that they had reached an agreement. Pyongyang would reinvestigate the fate of Japanese citizens it had abducted in the 70s and 80s while Tokyo said it would consider lifting unilateral sanctions.
Since the agreement was announced the diplomats seem to have been working quietly without major hiccups. However, experts are questioning if this attempt will bring any better result than earlier ones. Is Pyongyang sincerely interested in solving the issue? Is Japan ready to accept the findings, if they do fully correspond to the public’s expectations? And how strongly does the abduction issue still dominate Japanese policy towards North Korea?
To discuss these questions, PAC has invited two experts, Hideshi Takesada, professor at Takushoku university, and Sebastian Maslow Research Fellow at German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ).
Professor Takesada worked for 36 years at the National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS) of the Japanese Ministry of Defense. Between 2011 and 2013 he was professor at Yonsei University in Incheon, South Korea. Takesada has published extensively on Korean issues.
Sebastian Maslow is focusing his research on Japanese-North Korean relations in particular Japan’s North Korea policy. Besides his research position at DIJ Maslow holds part-time teaching positions at Fukushima University and Tohoku Gakuin University.