Viewing cable 06TOKYO1003
Title: DIET WILL LIKELY PASS DPRK HUMAN RIGHTS

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06TOKYO10032006-02-24 08:39:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tokyo
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 001003 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
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). 
 
¶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 
------------------------- 
 
¶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 
rights bill. 
 
¶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. 
 
Mild Content 
------------ 
 
¶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 
North Korea." 
 
-- 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. 
 
¶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" 
------------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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 
budget. 
SCHIEFFER