Search Website




About Our Group

Our Japanese Website

Frequently Asked Questions

What We Are Doing

Contact Us



China May Try LFNKR Worker
Takayuki Noguchi

China released South Korean photojournalist Seok Jae-hyun last week - March 19 - after he served more than a year of a 2-year sentence for his part in documenting an attempted escape by North Korean refugees from China. Seok was arrested on January 18, 2003 in Yantai province.

Also on March 19, however, Mainichi Newspaper reported that Chinese prosecutors have decided to try Takayuki Noguchi, age 32, a member of our NGO, who was arrested with two Japan-born North Korean refugees in Nanning on December 10, 2003.

To dissuade China from prosecuting Noguchi, our group (LFNKR) sent letters to all of the more than 700 Japanese Diet members urging them to protest China's action. We specifically drew their attention to the fact that if Japan allows China to prosecute and sentence him (a possible term of up to 10 years was mentioned by Chinese officials), the Japanese government's stance on human rights and humanitarianism would be questioned in the international

On March 11, LFNKR asked Shinzo Abe, Japan's Secretary General, to help Noguchi win release from jail in China. In response to our request, Mr. Abe encouraged the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intensify its efforts in this case. He also contacted the Chinese embassy in Tokyo regarding this matter. On March 16, Secretary General Abe brought up the issue of Noguchi during his talk with the chief vice foreign minister of China then visiting Japan, and requested leniency for Noguchi.

China may go forward with Noguchi's prosecution despite all efforts during the past 100 days to win his freedom. If this happens, we ask every person with an interest in North Korean refugees to actively lodge their protests with China, and demand freedom for Noguchi and for all the other aid workers whom China still holds. The only "crime" of these workers is to engage in acts of humanitarian aid to a persecuted group of people who have no other recourse and no voice. In the event the trial goes forward, we urge you to consider appearing in person at the Chinese court for Noguchi's trial.

Masaharu Nakagawa, a member of Japan's House of Representative and co-founder of International Parliamentarians' Coalition for the North Korean Refugees and Human Rights (IPCNKR) announced today that he will visit China to survey the human rights situation there.

One of Nakagawa's major objectives on this trip is to investigate conditions under which Takayuki Noguchi, a member of this Japanese NGO, is being held in Nanning Prison.

He will also investigate the whereabouts of the two Japan-born North Korean refugees arrested together with Noguchi on December 10, 2003. In Beijing, he is expected to meet with a high-ranking official. His itinerary follows:

March 22 (Mon)
          PM Flight CA124 (Inchon 13:05 - Beijing 13:50)
          Visiting Japanese Embassy in Beijing
          UNHCR in Beijing
          Night flight CZ3194 (Beijing 21:05 - Guangxi 23:55)
          Staying in Guangxi overnight

March 23 (Tue)
          AM Consulate General in Guangxi
          PM Flight CZ3327 (Guangxi 13:25 - Nanning 14:30)
          Visiting Nanning Police
          Night flight MU5936 (Nanning 20:10 - Shanghai 22:40)
          Staying in Shanghai overnight

March 24 (Wed)
          AM Consulate General in Shanghai
          PM JL618 (Shanghai 15:50 - Narita 19:30)