Saturday, January 27, 2007


Hi again,

Wanted to point this out from the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. This story ran on the Bloomberg wires. The reporter got the title of our film wrong calling it "Megumi" which is the title in Japan but not in the rest of the world where it's called "ABDUCTION".

Japan Brings Abductions Film to Davos; Threatens More Sanctions
By Yoolim Lee

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Japan's government brought a film to Davos to raise awareness among 2,500 political and business leaders about the abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea and threatened more sanctions against the communist nation.

Yuriko Koike, special national security adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, invited attendees and journalists at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum to a sushi reception to urge them to see ``Megumi,'' a documentary about 13- year-old Megumi Yokota, who was kidnapped in 1977 to train North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's Japanese-speaking spies.

This isn't the first time Japan is trying to bring international awareness to the abductions, which occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. North Korea has admitted to kidnapping 13 Japanese and allowed five to return in 2002. Japan says 17 citizens were kidnapped and has imposed sanctions on the country for the kidnappings and for its nuclear test in October last year.

``The Japanese government's position is to apply pressure and hold dialogue,'' Koike said. ``If existing sanctions don't work, we have to think about imposing heavier sanctions.''

Tensions over the kidnappings were exacerbated by North Korea's missile tests in July last year and its announcement on Oct. 9 it carried out its first atomic bomb test. Japan has imposed sanctions beyond those imposed on Oct. 14 by the United Nations for the nuclear test.

Revising Policy

The nuclear test prompted calls in Japan to revise the country's purely defensive security policies. Abe today in a speech in Parliament reiterated he wants to rewrite Japan's constitution, which outlaws the use of force.

Koike, 44, was a panelist for a discussion on ``China, Japan and Korea -- Managing a New Power Centre'' in Davos, where leaders are gathered this week to discuss issues ranging from energy security and climate change to the rising power of China and India.

``Japan has a special issue with North Korea, which is the abduction one,'' Koike told a press conference, following her panel session.

The attempt to raise awareness of the issue comes after stalled talks among China, Japan, North and South Korea, Russia and the U.S. on ending North Korea's nuclear program were resumed at the end of last year.

North Korea held talks in December with the U.S. on financial sanctions imposed because of allegations of money laundering and counterfeiting by North Korean companies. The financial sanctions are separate from the UN restrictions.


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