C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 001003
DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS TO TREASURY DAS GLASER
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/23/2016
TAGS: PREL PHUM PARM JA KN
SUBJECT: DIET WILL LIKELY PASS DPRK HUMAN RIGHTS
LEGISLATION BY JUNE
Classified By: A/DCM James P. Zumwalt. Reasons: 1.4 (b),(d).
Â¶1. (C) SUMMARY: There is a "good chance" the ruling
coalition will pass a "Bill of Human Rights in North Korea"
by the end of the current Diet session in June, LDP Upper
House Councillor Ichita Yamamoto told us February 22. The
proposed LDP legislation would:
-- Establish a North Korea human rights day
-- Require an annual report on DPRK human rights violations
-- Encourage Japanese government to work closely with
international community (and possibly NGOs) to address North
Korea human rights concerns.
According to Yamamoto, the draft bill is intended to "send a
message to the DPRK" that the Diet will vote for passage if
North Korea does not make a sincere effort to resolve the
abduction issue and return to the Six-Party talks this
spring. END SUMMARY.
Good Prospect for Passage
Â¶2. (C) Upper House Councillor Ichita Yamamoto, Chair of the
LDP Simulation Team for Economic Sanctions Against North
Korea, met with POLOFF February 22 to discuss the LDP's
proposed North Korea human rights bill. Yamamoto is also
Director of the LDP Division of Foreign Affairs, and reputed
to have close ties to Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe.
For the past several years Yamamoto has had the lead in
drafting North Korea-related legislation for the LDP,
including the two DPRK sanctions bills passed by the Diet in
2004 and last year's failed attempt to pass a DPRK human
Â¶3. (C) Yamamoto shared with us an outline of the new bill
provisionally entitled: "LDP Bill of Human Rights in North
Korea." The outline has been approved by the LDP
Headquarters on the Abduction Issue, and the Simulation Team
has now begun drafting the text of the bill. They will meet
on Friday February 24 to discuss its content in greater
detail, Yamamoto said. Following approval of the text, the
bill will be submitted to several LDP policy divisions, then
to the LDP Policy Affairs Research Council, and finally to
the LDP General Affairs Council. Following this internal LDP
review process, the draft will be submitted to the Diet. The
LDP has not yet approached its coalition partner, Komeito,
about the proposed bill, but plans to do so soon, Yamamoto
said. Given the mood of the country, he expects no Komeito
opposition. He also made it clear the LDP has no intention
of collaborating with the opposition DPJ "because we simply
don't need their help to pass it," Yamamoto said.
Furthermore, the DPJ's draft bill, which more closely
resembles the U.S. North Korea Human Rights Act, includes a
provision for accepting North Korean refugees, a feature that
was partly responsible for killing last year's legislation
effort, he explained.
Â¶4. (C) As currently outlined, the LDP Bill of Human Rights
in North Korea would:
-- Instruct Japanese authorities to make efforts to
"enlighten public opinion" concerning human rights
infringement by North Korean authorities.
-- Establish a "Day to Consider Human Rights Infringement in
-- Task the Japanese government with producing an annual
report that "clarifies the actual status of human rights
violations by the DPRK."
TOKYO 00001003 002 OF 002
-- Encourage the Japanese government to "make every effort"
to resolve the abduction issue and to work with other members
of the international community and appropriate international
organizations to address the issue.
-- Require the Japanese government to "examine how best to
work with domestic and external private organizations" (NGOs)
on this issue.
Â¶5. (C) MOFA Northeast Asia Division Director Naoki Ito, who
has been in close consultations with the LDP Simulation Team
on this measure, told us that the current draft contains a
"trigger clause" that would "instruct" the Japanese
government to invoke the economic sanctions bills previously
passed by the Diet if Pyongyang makes no further effort to
resolve the abduction issue. Because the current version
would force the cabinet to act against its will, Ito said it
is disparagingly being referred to as the "Government Rape
Bill" by some officials in MOFA and the Kantei. However,
strong objections by the government -- which pointed out that
the Diet does not have the authority to command the cabinet
in this manner -- have reportedly convinced the LDP to water
down the language of the "trigger clause." The final bill is
likely to merely "encourage" the government to take "swift
measures" if progress is not forthcoming, Yamamoto said,
thereby allowing the government continued flexibility in
deciding how best to deal with Pyongyang.
"Sending a Message"
Â¶6. (C) The main purpose of the bill will be to "send a
message" to the DPRK, according to Yamamoto. It is difficult
for the Japanese government to take harsh measures against
Pyongyang because of concerns that such actions would only
worsen the situation, he acknowledged. He believes "it is
"good" that the bill includes nothing that will substantially
harm the DPRK, because hard hitting unilateral sanctions
would only lead to increased tensions. At the same time,
Japan needs to "do something" to respond to the public mood,
Yamamoto underscored. Through this bill, the Diet intends to
amplify the message sent by the United Nations that North
Korea must address its human rights situation, he explained.
Yamamoto believes the DPRK is already getting that message
because at the February 4-8 Japan-DPRK bilateral talks the
North Korean head of delegation, Ambassador Song Il-ho,
mentioned Pyongyang's displeasure with the proposed bill.
Yamamoto said he and other LDP Diet members plan to "add to
North Korea's displeasure" by traveling to Macau "sometime
very soon" to meet with financial people regarding the Banco
Delta Asia designation. "That, too, will send a message to
the North," he said.
Â¶7. (C) Ultimately, whether the LDP actually decides to pass
its North Korea human rights bill in this Diet session "will
be up to North Korea," Yamamoto concluded. Japan will wait
for the result of further bilateral talks and Six-Party
negotiations this spring, while proceeding to move the bill
through the legislative process. If the DPRK offers no
breakthrough, the bill is likely to pass the Diet in May or
June, he predicted, following final passage of the FY2006