Search Website


..
..

MENU


Home


About Our Group

Our Japanese Website

Frequently Asked Questions

What We Are Doing

Contact Us

 


 


Japanese Lawmaker Leads
Human Rights Campaign

NAKAGAWA, Masaharu
3rd Term Member of The House of Representatives, The National Diet of Japan

Parliamentary Committees
-Director, Research Commission on the Constitution
-Member, Committee on Financial Affairs
-Member, Special Committee on North Korean Abductions and Other Issues

Party Posts (The Democratic Party of Japan)
-Secretary-General, DPJ Abduction Issue Strategy Headquarters
-Chair, North Korean Issue Project Team
-Chair, Research Commission on the Tax System
-Deputy Chief Secretary, Research Commission on the Constitution
-Leader, Mie Prefectural Headquarters

Education
Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service

Diet member, Masaharu Nakagawa, is spearheading a parliamentary bill addressing a number of current problems that Japan faces with its neighbor, North Korea.

The bill, sponsored by the Democratic Party of Japan, was officially presented to the House of Representatives on Feb. 25, 2005 under the leadership of Rep. Nakagawa, team leader of the North Korea Issue Project. The Democratic Party is targeting passage of the bill during the current session.

Rep. Nakagawa is founder of IPCNKR (International Parliamentarians' Coalition for North Korean Refugees and Human Rights). Read more here and here.

You can also visit Rep. Nakagawa's Japanese website or read his profile in English.

Below is the draft of Rep. Nakagawa's proposed bill. This bill puts forward measures for resolving the long-running issue of North Korea's abduction of Japanese citizens for use in its spy-training program.

In addition, the bill deals with:

  • Protection of and assistance to escapees from North Korea
  • Basic principles concerning assistance to North Korea
  • Efforts to improve human rights conditions in North Korea

Here is the current draft of the bill:

Outline of Bill on Redressing Human Rights Violations Involving North Korea (Tentative title)

T. Purpose (related to Article 1)

This law is aimed at resolving the abduction issue, redressing other human rights violations by the North Korean authorities and improving human rights conditions in North Korea, by both clarifying the Statefs responsibilities in regard to tackling the abduction issue and stipulating basic principles, among other matters, on the protection of and assistance to escapees from North Korea and on assistance to North Korea.

 

U. Tackling the Abduction Issue

@. Responsibility of the State in Tackling the Abduction Issue (related to Article 2)

1.  The State shall make the utmost efforts to solve the issue of abductions of Japanese nationals and abductions of people from Japanese soil that are a state-organized crime committed by the North Korean authorities (hereafter referred to as gabductions by North Koreah).

2.  The State shall investigate cases of abduction by North Korea and make efforts to realize the return or entry to Japan of abducted Japanese nationals and those who were abducted from Japan by North Korea (hereafter referred to as gabducteesh).

3.  The government shall work with the relevant nations, among other entities, to resolve the issue of abductions by North Korea .

A. State Minister in Charge of the Abduction Issue (related to Article 3 of the supplementary provisions)

Administrative affairs with regard to tackling the issue of abductions by North Korea shall be added to the work mandated to be carried out by the Cabinet Office, and a minister extraordinary in charge of the abduction issue shall be appointed.

B. Establishment of An Abduction Investigation/Countermeasure Headquarters (related to Articles 3 and 4)

1. An Abduction Investigation/Countermeasure Headquarters (hereafter referred to as gthe Headquartersh) shall be established within the Cabinet Office.

2. The Headquarters shall oversee the following administrative affairs:

              a)  Conduct investigations on abductees and alleged abductees.

b)  Create plans and draft legislation as well as coordinate matters overall on measures to realize the return or entry to Japan of abductees.

3. When conducting the investigations referred to in 2 a), the Headquarters shall endeavor to work with private-sector organizations whose activities include collecting information on abductions by North Korea .

4. The Headquarters shall comprise the chief of the Abduction Investigation/ Countermeasure Headquarters, the deputy chief of the Abduction Investigation/Countermeasure Headquarters and members of the Abduction Investigation/Countermeasure Headquarters.

5. The post of the chief of the Abduction Investigation/Countermeasure Headquarters shall be assumed by the Prime Minister.

6. The post of the deputy chief of the Abduction Investigation/Countermeasure Headquarters shall be assumed by the State Minister in Charge of the Abduction Issue.

7. Members of the Abduction Investigation/Countermeasure Headquarters shall be appointed by the Prime Minister from among officials at the relevant administrative bodies.

C. Report Concerning Abductees to Diet (related to Article 5)

Should the whereabouts and other significant facts concerning abductees be ascertained as the result of the investigations referred to in B2 a), the government shall report this to the Diet without delay.

 

V. Protection of and Assistance to Escapees from North Korea

@. Responsibilities of the State regarding the Protection of and Assistance to Escapees from North Korea and Other Matters (related to Articles 6 and 7)

1. The State has the responsibility to protect and assist escapees from North Korea (those who do not have a principal place of residence after fleeing the country and seek protection from Japan , except for those who are recognized as free from the risk of persecution if returned to North Korea . The definition applied hereafter.)

2. Should escapees from North Korea seek protection at diplomatic missions abroad, the government shall make efforts to ensure their safety.

3. The government shall make efforts for escapees from North Korea to return to or enter Japan , or leave for a third nation, should they wish to do so.

4. The government shall try and gain the understanding and cooperation of the relevant nations in ensuring the safety of escapees from North Korea and on other matters.

5. When protecting and assisting escapees from North Korea, the government shall, in order to ensure the safety of the escapees and concerned parties, give sufficient consideration to the way it handles information regarding these people and other matters.

6. The government shall play an active role in protecting and assisting escapees from North Korea under close cooperation with the relevant nations and international organizations, such as the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

7. The government shall cooperate with private-sector organizations in protecting and assisting escapees from North Korea and endeavor to take the necessary measures, such as providing information and taking financial measures, to ensure the security of activities carried out by the private-sector organizations that protect and assist escapees from North Korea , and to facilitate such activities.

A. Recognition of Escapees from North Korea, Obtaining Long-term Resident Status and Other Matters@(related to Articles 8 through 13)

1. The Minister of Justice may, upon application from a person who has left North Korea and is currently in Japan , recognize the applicant as an escapee from North Korea (hereafter referred to as grecognition of escapees from North Korea h).

2. The Minister of Justice shall, in case the applicant mentioned in 1 is a foreign national without resident status, allow the applicant to obtain long-term resident status, unless a specific reason for exception is applicable to the foreign national.

3. Should a foreign national recognized as a escapee from North Korea apply for permanent resident status, the Minister of Justice may grant the person the status even if the applicant does not have sufficient assets or skills to make a living independently.

4. If the applicant mentioned in 3 is a foreign national who formerly had Japan as their principal place of residence (the description is limited to those who had Japanese nationality in the past and to their offspring, hereafter referred to as gformer residents of Japanh), the Minister of Justice shall take into account the length of time that person had Japan as their principal place of residence, as well as how that person came to reside in North Korea, among other factors, and give appropriate consideration to the applicant.

B. Assistance to Escapees from North Korea in Settling in Japan (related to Article 14)

1. The State and local authorities shall take the necessary measures to support those who are recognized as escapees from North Korea to settle in Japan , such as securing stable accommodation, employment assistance and Japanese language education.

2. When taking measures mentioned in 1, the State and local authorities shall endeavor to work with private-sector organizations that assist escapees from North Korea in settling in Japan .

C. Report to Diet Concerning Protection of and Assistance to Escapees from North Korea (related to Article 15)

Every year, the government shall report to the Diet the situation regarding the protection of and assistance to escapees from North Korea .

 

W. Basic Principles Concerning Assistance to North Korea

@. Basic Principles Concerning Assistance to North Korea (related to Article 16)

1. Regarding assistance to North Korea , whether it should be implemented shall be determined by taking into consideration the purpose of the assistance, the response by the North Korean authorities to the abduction issue, and human rights conditions in North Korea , among other matters.

2. Regarding humanitarian assistance to North Korea, the status of aid distribution and other conditions shall be monitored, and should the distribution, etc., not be properly implemented in light of the purpose of humanitarian assistance, the assistance shall be halted.

A. Report to Diet Concerning Assistance to North Korea (related to Article 17)

Every year, the government shall submit to the Diet a report on the purpose, the content and the status of implementation of assistance to North Korea .

 

X. Efforts to Improve Human Rights Conditions in North Korea

@. Keeping Track of Human Rights Conditions in North Korea (related to Article 18)

1. The government shall try to keep track of conditions faced by former residents of Japan and their Japanese spouses and other human rights conditions in North Korea .

2. The government may ask the Japanese Red Cross Society for the cooperation necessary to keep track of conditions faced by former residents of Japan and their Japanese spouses.

A. Contribution to Efforts by the International Community to Improve Human Rights Conditions in North Korea (related to Article 19)

The State shall contribute proactively and positively to efforts by the international community to improve human rights conditions in North Korea .

 

Y. Penalties (related to Articles 20 and 21)

     Penalties shall apply to those who achieved recognition as an escapee from North Korea through false claims or other illicit measures, among others.

 

Z. Others

@. This law will come into effect on the date of promulgation.  However, the section concerning the Abduction Investigation/Countermeasure Headquarters will come into effect on April 1, 2005 and the section concerning the Recognition of Escapees from North Korea , Obtaining Long-term Resident Status and Other Matters on July 1, 2005 .

A. Other necessary rules and regulations shall be provided.