Japan-North Korea Relations

December 6, 2016
Mr. Katsunobu Kato, Minister in charge of the Abduction Issue
Panel discussion
  1. A panel discussion "The Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea(DPRK)- Current Situation and Initiatives by the International Community "co-sponsored by Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea(ROK), the United States(USA) and the European Union(EU), was held in the UN Headquarters (New York) on December 1, 2016(local time).
  2. At the panel discussion, a broad-ranging discussion was held on the human rights situation in North Korea including the abductions issue and measures that should be taken by the international community, with the participation of panelists from the UN and co-sponsoring countries etc. Representing the Government of Japan, Mr. Katsunobu Kato, Minister in charge of the Abduction Issue participated as a panelist and stressed to the international community the gravity of the abductions issue and the urgency of rescuing the abductees facing the fact that the abductees and their family members are aging. During the event, there was an active discussion about the international coordination toward improving the human rights situations in North Korea, including realizing the return of all the abductees at the earliest possible date.
  3. This panel discussion was livestreamed on UN WEB TVthe attached pamphlet was distributed at the event.(PDF)).
Opening Remarks: H. E. Mr. João Vale de Almeida, Head of the Delegation of the EU to the United Nations
Moderator: H.E. Ms. Gillian Bird, Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations
Panelists: Minister Katsunobu Kato, Minister in charge of the Abduction Issue, Government of Japan
  Ambassador Lee Jung-hoon, Ambassador-at-large on North Korean Human Rights, Government of the ROK
  Ms. Signe Poulsen, Representative, OHCHR Office in Seoul
  Ambassador Robert R. King, Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues, Government of the USA
  Ms. Param-Preet Singh, Associate Director, International Justice Program, Human Rights Watch
Closing Remarks: H. E. Mr. Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
Audience: Approximately 130 participants (government officials, academics, civil society and press)

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