Minister in Charge of the Abduction Issue
Monday, September 01, 2014, 17:00 - 18:00
North Korea last month offered a rare glimmer of hope for the families of Japanese snatched by Pyongyang agents in the 1970s and '80s by starting a probe into the fate of these abductees and other Japanese in the isolated country. Japan has eased sanctions in return for the inquiry.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida talked this month with his North Korean counterpart during the ASEAN regional forum in Myanmar. While the engagement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government risks disrupting a united front with the U.S. and South Korea on the North's nuclear weapons and missile programs, any progress toward solving the abduction issue may boost his flagging approval ratings.
With North Korea reportedly planning to provide Japan with its report next month and rumors that Abe will go to the country to bring back some of the abductees, Keiji Furuya will come to the club to discuss the current situation and future efforts needed to resolve the abduction issue.
Furuya, a member of the Diet since 1990, visited the scene of fatal landslides in Hiroshima last week in his capacity as minister of state for disaster management. On August 15, he was one of three cabinet members to visit Yasukuni shrine on the anniversary of Japan's World War II defeat.