Japan-North Korea Relations: The Forgotten Agenda
Asia Pacific Bulletin, No. 28
Washington D.C.: East-West Center
Since former Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro made his historic visit to Pyongyang in September 2002, Japan's relationship with North Korea (DPRK) has been dominated by a single issue: the plight of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korean agents in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The abduction issue has frozen broader bilateral relations and resulted in the neglect of other crucial issues in the Japan-North Korea relationship. As a new U.S. administration takes the reins in Washington, and with a significant national election looming in Japan, there is both an opportunity and a need to reassess Japan's interactions with North Korea and to broaden the agenda of discussion. Tessa Morris-Suzuki discusses options to broaden this agenda by reviving diplomatic issues that have been overlooked in recent years.
The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the East-West Center or any organization with which the author is affiliated.