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  • The Government of Japan hosts a symposium to discuss strategies towards restoration of humanity in North Korea in New York City

International Symposia held in the US

In order to raise awareness on the issue of abductions by North Korea among the international community and to strengthen international cooperation toward the earliest possible improvement of the human rights situation in North Korea, the Japanese government hosted international symposia attended by Mr. Katsunobu Kato, Minister in Charge of the Abduction Issue, in Washington DC on May 2 and in New York on May 4, 2016.

 At the May 2 symposium co-hosted by the Japanese government and Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC, officials from Japan, the ROK, and the US discussed on the need to move forward with cooperation toward resolution of North Korean human rights issues. On May 4, a symposium hosted by the Japanese government at the United Nations in New York, was focused on how to improve human rights situation in North Korea in lined with the UN human rights process, based on the strategy forged by Mr. Marzuki Darusman, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the DPRK, to purse accountability for human rights abuses in North Korea.

 All through these events Minister Kato addressed three major points below to the international community; 1. that the Japanese government is tackling with the abduction issue with responsibility for resolving it, to which is given the highest priority of the Abe Administration,
2. the current situation and the misery of the issue of abductions by North Korea, and
3. the importance of further strengthening international cooperation.
 Family members of abductees, Mr. Koichiro Iizuka and Mr. Takuya Yokota, and a family member of one of the missing Japanese citizens possibly related to North Korea, Mr. Shoichi Osawa, attended the events to share their strong desire to be reunited with their loved ones.

 Discussions of these events deepened the closer cooperation between Japan, the US and the ROK on human rights, including the abduction issue, and concrete strategies to use UN human rights processes. The Japanese government will continue to make efforts with these functions to realize the earliest possible repatriation of all the abductees.

1. Co-hosted symposium with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
 "Taking a Stand Together for Human Rights in North Korea"
 Date & Time: May 2, 2016 (Mon.) 14:30-16:15 (U.S. local time)
 Place: The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (Washington D.C.)
 Attendees: Mr. Katsunobu Kato, Minister in Charge of the Abduction Issue;  speech by Minister Kato  
         Ambassador Robert R. King, Special Envoy on North Korean Human Rights Issues,
          Department of State of the United States of America;
         Mr. Lee Jung-Hoon, Ambassador for Human Rights for the Republic of Korea;
         Mr. Koichiro Iizuka, Vice Secretary General of the Association of Families of Victims
          Kidnapped by North Korea;
         Ms. Grace Jo, a defector from North Korea;
         Dr. Michael Green, Senior Vice President at CSIS;
         Dr. Victor Cha, Senior Adviser at CSIS
 No. of audience: approx. 100

 
 ※CSIS uploaded the video of the symposium on their website. (External Link: English)

2. International Symposium
  "Human Rights Situation in DPRK – Strategies towards Restoration of Humanity"
   hosted by the Government of Japan
 Date & Time: May 4, 2016 (Wed.) 10:00-12:00 (U.S. local time)
 Place: UN Headquarters (New York)
 Attendees: Mr. Katsunobu Kato, Minister in Charge of the Abduction Issue;
         Mr. Marzuki Darusman, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the
            Democratic People’s Republic of Korea;
         Ambassador Robert R. King, Special Envoy on North Korean Human Rights Issues,
            Department of State of the United States of America;
         Ms. Param-Preet Singh, Senior Counsel, International Justice Program, HRW
            (Human Rights Watch);
         Mr. Takuya Yokota, Secretary General of the Association of Families of Victims
            Kidnapped by North Korea;
         Mr. Shoichi Osawa (a Family member of one of the missing Japanese citizens possibly
            related to North Korea);
         Mr. Oh Se-hyek (a defector from North Korea)
          (Mr. Ichiro Tsukada, Member of the House of Representatives acting Secretary
          General of the Association of Members of the Parliament for Victims Kidnapped by
          North Korea; Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the UN;
          Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to the UN; Deputy Permanent Representative of
          the Republic of Korea to the UN and others also attended.)
 No. of audience: approx. 150


    

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