U.N. officials to visit families of abductees – North Korean abductees – in Japan.

The story below appeared in the Yomiuri Shimbun on August 19th, 2013, announcing that the leading members of the UN Human Rights Council has created a Commission of Inquiry to travel to Japan to hold a new round of  interviews with  the surviving relatives of 15 to 20 Japanese who were abducted and taken to North Korea in the 1970’s.

A new United Nations Human Rights Council, Commission of Inquiry! The N. Korean abductions occurred in the 1970’s and have been discussed, argued over and investigated numerous times. The cases have been settled by and large for 30 years.
However, today, there are thousands of internationally abducted children whose abductors are given safe harbor in Japan by the Japanese government. Yes, today. They are not grown into adults; they are children –  now – in their growing, developmental years.

Yet the U.N has thus far completely ignored this problem,  the stealing of children over the border for the express purpose of denying  children and parents’ rights with full knowledge and assistance of the Japanese government.

Within Japan, 150,000 children permanently lose a parent  every year.  It is a manufactured circumstance in which 2.7 million children have been deprived of one of their parents since 1992. This form of legal cover has made the Japanese border the world’s number one destination for child abductors.

The only explanation I can think of for this outrageous hypocrisy is that the Human Rights Council is dancing to the tune of its funders  while the U.S. exercises its Security Council privilege on behalf of its allies.

Is this a Human Rights Commission of Inquiry, or a tool and an institutional arm of powerful states to bully small  non-powerful ones in order to serve their geo-political agendas and re-secure the power elites they prefer to serve within the country?

Is the U.N. Human Rights Council hoping to help convey to the Japanese public that it supports an Asian arms race and contribute to the  militarization of Japanese politics?

The Government of Japan has created a ministerial post whose sole purpose is to continually stir up sentiment and gain support on the basis of the North Korean abductions to contribute to steering the tone of Japanese national politics towards greater power and influence for the use of  the Japanese military, towards inserting Japan into a greater international military/security role, shored up by bloc politics and a resumption of the Cold War roots of the Liberal Democratic Party, favored by Japanese conservative, nationalist elites and the U.S. foreign policy and military establishments.

One can easily imagine the arm twisting and yanking the reins of funding that lies behind this hijacking of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. It has become a standard mode of operation  for the Government of Japan.

To the Human Rights Council itself, we must ask: does this convey to the Japanese public that the concern for the human rights of children is an international concern, for which the UN Human Rights Council is willing to stand?
What about the current cases of international child abduction in Japan today?

And what about millions of Japanese children, nearly 3 million now, who are permanently separated from their parent, who has NO right to see, much less raise, his or her own children?
Is this not a concern for the most powerful and internationally respected human rights organization?

Stop Japanese International Child Abduction, Now!

The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Members of the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry, including chairman Michael Kirby, will visit Japan late this month to interview families of Japanese abducted by North Korean agents, as well as organizations related to the abduction issue, Japanese government officials said Friday.

Arrangements are being made for a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the commission members.

Established in the U.N. Human Rights Council in March, the Commission of Inquiry investigates human rights violations in North Korea, such as forced labor in prison camps and involuntary disappearances, including abductions of foreign nationals.

Japan, which wants to expand international understanding of the abduction issue, called on the European Union to set up the commission, and has gained support from the United States and other countries.

The commission also will hold public hearings on North Korean defectors in South Korea and compile an interim report in autumn.

Japanese government officials hope the interim report will put pressure on Pyongyang and help make progress in resolving the abduction issue.

2 thoughts on “U.N. officials to visit families of abductees – North Korean abductees – in Japan.

  1. Foreign Minister Bob Carr today welcomed the appointment of the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG as chair of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights violations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), announced in Geneva.

    Senator Carr congratulated Mr Kirby and expressed hope the inquiry will provide definitive information on the nature of human rights abuses in North Korea.

    “The Honourable Michael Kirby’s strong legal credentials and previous experience in the UN system make him an ideal candidate for the position,” Senator Carr said.

    “Australia is deeply concerned by the human rights situation in the DPRK and I’m pleased that Australia co-sponsored and supported the UN resolution which established the Commission of Inquiry.

    “It is time the North Korean government acted to address human rights and there should be no doubt about Australia’s ongoing support of mechanisms to ensure action is taken.”

    The Commission of Inquiry (COI) was established by a resolution of the UN HRC on 14 March 2013.

    The COI’s mandate is to investigate human rights violations in the DPRK, including the right to food, violations associated with prison camps, torture and inhuman treatment, arbitrary detention, violations of the right to life, freedom of movement and enforced disappearances, discrimination and violations of freedom of expression.

    The COI will operate for a period of one year and is expected to be operational by June.

    In addition to the Hon Michael Kirby as Chair, the other members of the COI are Marzuki Darusman, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK and former Indonesian Attorney-General, and Serbian human rights campaigner Sonja Biserko.


  2. Take a good hard look at what human rights commissions are now being utilized to do by governments such as that of Japan and the USA. Be WARY of the abuse of what was a perfectly legitimate human rights rhetoric to reinforce old Cold War alignments and postures, and ultimately, for military build ups and base building. This is an opportunity to expose the hypcoritical abuse of human rights organizations by (so-called) Great Powers. It is difficult to call out the US for this these days. The UN may be a more susceptible organization for this tactic. I too would like for LBPs to be party to a request for dialogue with this jurist during his visit to Japan. It appears that he is being USED by the Japanese right; and the USA DOS will like that just fine..


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