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2nd Annual North Korean
Human Rights Public Awareness Week

Special Report on Events in Japan

The second annual North Korean Human Rights Public Awareness Week took place during Dec. 10th through 16th, 2007, as set forth in Japan's “North Korean Human Rights Act,” which was enacted in June 2006.

The many events held included government-hosted events, as well as international conferences and symposiums.

Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR) held an international conference jointly with the Society to Help Returnees to North Korea, the Investigation Commission on Missing Japanese Probably Related to North Korea, and the association of lawyers investigating abductions by and human rights violations in North Korea.

The events hosted by NGOs were held in Osaka and Sendai as well as in Tokyo, indicating the spreading of interest in Japan.

Participants in the events hailed from 8 nations, the US, Canada, Romania, China, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Burma.

Shocking news came on Dec. 14, midway through the North Korean Human Rights Awareness Week, that a North Korean woman had comitted suicide inside a Chinese prison. She was protesting Chinese police brutality and forced repatriation.
Click here to read the jointly signed protest statement.

Below are photos from the international conference and also from the press conference held at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Tokyo on Dec. 14.

Mr. Hiroshi Kato, executive director of LFNKR, presents the opening speech at the international conference on Dec. 14.
Read the speech here


Ms. Fumiko Saiga, special envoy for North Korean human rights, gives the keynote speech. On Dec. 1, 2007, Ms. Saiga was elected judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Mr. Surat Horachaikol, Assistant Professor at Department of International Relations, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkon University, Bangkok, Thailand
Read the speech here


Mr. Kim Sang Hun, activist on behalf of North Korean refugees and also the chairman of the board of directors of North Korean Human Rights Database Center.
Read the speech here

Profile of the North Korean Human Rights Database Center.



Mr. Tim Peters, founder and director of Helping Hands Korea, presents a speech illustrated with power point slides.
Outline of Tim Peter's speech


Mr. Shin Dong-hyuk, Mr. Ahn Myeong Chul, and Mr. Kwon Hyok speak at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club.

Shin Dong-hyuk was born in 1982 inside a political prisoner camp in North Korea. He miraculously escaped in 2005.
Read the story of Shin Dong-hyuk

Doctor's report on Shin Dong-hyuk

Kwon Hyok was formerly State Security Agency Chief of Concentration Camp No. 22 in North Korea. Read his report here.



Captives in the political prisoner camp were fed only two bowls of corn with coarse cereal and seaweed soup with a little cabbage. They received the same food every day. A sample of the food was displayed at the press conference.