Receives LFNKR Statement
Illegal Chinese Jailing of Japanese Citizen Detailed
2 April 2004, our group,
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR), submitted to the Human
Rights Protection Committee of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations
a statement urgently calling for the rescue of victims of human
afterward, we called a press conference at the Bar Association's
Meeting Hall in Tokyo. Speakers at the press conference included
three lawyers, Japanese Diet member Masaharu Nakagawa, who visited
China last week to investigate human rights violations, and Hiroshi
Kato, General-Secretary of LFNKR.
parties to the statement submitted are a relative of one
of the Japan-born North Korean refugees now imprisoned by China,
and also LFNKR. This statement explains in legal terms why the arrest
of these two North Korean refugees and Takayuki Noguchi (a member
of our NGO) is illegitimate. The statement points out that the Japanese
government is obliged to protect the human rights of its people;
it urges the government to call on Chinese authorities immediately
to release Noguchi and never to repatriate the two refugees. A total
of 14 lawyers represent the parties to this statement.
Nakagawa is co-founder of the International Parliamentarians'
Coalition for the North Korean Refugees and Human Rights. He pointed
out to Ms. Junko Kawaguchi, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs,
who plans to visit China from Apr. 3, that Noguchi's case should
be handled from the aspect of International Law. Japan, he told
her, should urge China, which is a signatory to the United Nations
Convention on Refugees, immediately to release Noguchi and the two
North Korean refugees, since Chinese domestic laws are superseded
by International law.
Nakagawa was deeply disappointed by the Minister's response.
Noguchi," Minister Kawaguchi said, "has violated
the Chinese laws, so that we have no other option but to ask for
their forgiveness." Clearly, there has been no growth in the
basic attitude of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
now feels it is imperative to raise public awareness of
Noguchi's case and its impact internationally on human rights and
humanitarian issues. This group will, therefore, be dispatching
its members to as many relevant rallies and conferences as possible.
The first of these is the upcoming Congressional-Executive Commission
on China to be held on April 19 in Washington DC. Next will be the
North Korea Freedom Day rally on April 28 in Washington DC.
also plans to hold its own international conference during
the second week of May. Details will be announced soon.
news of Takayuki Noguchi's arrest began filtering out to
the West, many friends from his 7 years in the United States have
expressed deep concern and shown an active interest in helping win
his freedom. LFNKR is pleased to see the growing number of American
citizens and others around the world joining the efforts to release
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees
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