Outline of North Korean Human Rights Act

I. Aims

This law, building upon the “Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)” passed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16th 2005, and taking into consideration the human rights violations committed by North Korea, which are of pressing importance to Japan, including abductions, which require the cooperation of the international community to resolve, while at the same time recognizing the importance of increasing public awareness of North Korean human rights issues, aims to clarify the North Korean human rights situation and deter human rights abuses in cooperation with the international community.

II. Responsibility of National Government

1. To make the fullest effort possible to resolve the issue of abduction of Japanese nationals to North Korea (hereafter referred to as the abduction issue), a crime committed by the North Korean authorities.

2. To actively seek out information from the public, as well as to conduct thorough investigations, in order to determine the fate of actual or suspected Japanese abductees, and to do everything possible to bring about their return to Japan.

3. To endeavor to enhance the awareness of the public and to determine the North Korean human rights situation, including with respect to the abduction issue.

III. Responsibility of Local Authorities

To enhance the awareness of the public, in cooperation with the national government, of the North Korean human rights situation, including with respect to the abduction issue.

IV. North Korean Human Rights Awareness Week

1.North Korean Human Rights Awareness Week will be held in order to increase the interest and awareness of the public in North Korean human rights issues, including the abduction issue.

2.North Korean Human Rights Awareness Week will be held from December 10th to 16th.

3.The Japanese national government and/or the local authorities will undertake to hold suitable events for North Korean Human Rights Week.

V. Annual Report

The government will present a yearly report in the Diet on its actions related to North Korean human rights, including the abduction issue, and will make its report available to the public.

VI. Strengthening of International Partnerships

1.To establish proper policies for assisting Japanese nationals actually abducted or suspected to have been abducted by the North Korean authorities, defectors from North Korea (those who have fled North Korea and are in need of protection and humanitarian assistance) and other victims having their human rights violated by the North Korean authorities, the government will exchange information with foreign governments and through international mechanisms, and increase cooperation with international investigation agencies and other international partnerships, while securing close partnerships with domestic and foreign citizens’ groups engaged in activities for assisting the aforesaid people.

2.The government will endeavor to introduce policies whose aim is to provide protection and assistance to defectors from North Korea (as defined above).

3.The government will endeavor to engage in information-sharing with citizens’ groups, as well as provide financial and other assistance as necessary.

VII. Provisions in the event that the North Korean
human rights situation does not improve

Should the situation with regard to the abduction of Japanese nationals, and other grave human rights abuses concerning the Japanese people fail to improve, the Japanese government will, while broadly taking into consideration the international community’s response to the violation of human rights by North Korea, take necessary measures to protect its citizens against such violations, such as the Special Measures Law denying entry to passenger ships (2004, Law No. 125 3(1)) and the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law (1949, Law No. 228 10(1)).

Note: This law is effective as of the date of publication.