An interactive and taboo-free journalism based in Japan

Welcome to TokyoFreePress Thursday, March 23 2017 @ 07:27 PM JST
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Has the cowboy changed horses in midstream?

Apparently it is a positive sign that the U.S. President on April 28 listened intently and compassionately to Sakie Yokota, mother of one of the abductees Megumi Yokota, and her son at the Oval Office - but certainly not in the sense the Japanese media insisted it was. It is heartening only because the meeting indicated that the family members of those who were abducted by North Korean agents had finally exhausted their patience with the total inaction on the part of their government and the half-hearted lip service by the media. In a normal situation, citizens of a sovereign country would never bring in a petition about a bilateral issue directly to the leader of a third country.

Back in Tokyo, the person who still claims to be the Japanese leader told reporters, "The meeting will become a powerful [message] in terms of enabling the U.S. government and American people to develop great interest in the abduction issue." (April 30, Daily Yomiuri). Junichiro Koizumi reportedly added to it a fairly predictable statement which goes: "We should also tenaciously press North Korea to take a sincere attitude toward the issue while directing world attention to it." So the Prime Minister did not take the recent move by the family members of the abductees as an insult which was very close to no-confidence motion against him.
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Abductee rescue operations lost in a maze with NARKN resorting to pointless clam boycott

The government and the media still keep talking untiringly over "possible" economic sanctions against North Korea to press the reclusive nation to disclose the whole truth about those suspected abductees. In the absence of resolute actions by the Koizumi administration, the National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea (NARKN), earlier this month launched a campaign in which it calls on consumers to boycott asari, or littleneck clams, one of the main import items from North Korea. NARKN said: "We have launched the call for boycott because the Japanese people, who are increasingly mad at North Korea's unwillingness to solve the abduction issue with sincerity, can make a tangible difference and this won't hurt the ordinary North Korean people in anyway." · read more (1,257 words)
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Koizumi's inaction to go on and on until abduction issue solves itself

Koizumi takes a sand bath at a hot spring resort (Dec.17)

This is a sequel to the Dec. 9 TFP story "Kim Jong-Il: Congratulations to Japan's government and media!". But, essentially, we have seen little change since then to the stalemate made up by the two procrastination artists.

On December 8 Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda announced that the cremated remains Pyongyang had said were those of abductee Megumi Yokota had tested negative, DNA-wise, and the Japanese government lodged yet another weak protest against the Pyongyang hoax. 12 days later (Dec. 20) Hosoda updated the press by saying that the government was now considering somehow complying with North Korea's demand that the five pieces of heat-processed bones be returned to it together with the official document on the results of the DNA tests. He added to the effect that the government felt somehow obliged to comply in one way or the other because North Korea would certainly need both the bones and the document to make sure the cremated remains are really fake. In effect, Hosoda was saying, on Koizumi's behalf, that Japan was held responsible to convince the liar that he lied.
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Kim Jong-Il: Congratulations to Japan's government and media! You passed proficiency test I'd given you

The Yokotas at Dec. 8 press conference

This is not really a news. But on Wednesday, December 8, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda announced, in his signature way of briefing the media, with a blank, emotionless, brainless-looking face, that the cremated remains North Korea had said were those of abductee Megumi Yokota had tested negative DNA-wise, and that the National Police Agency, with the help of forensic experts at Teikyo University, had concluded the ashes were from two unidentified persons other than Megumi Yokota.

According to the December 9 edition of the Daily Yomiuri, an NPA senior official said of this feat: "We were finally able to reach a conclusion with the help of advanced technology and experience. The North Koreans must be panicking." I don't think so. Kim Jong-Il must have grinned at the news, saying to himself "Hmmm, they have passed the certification exam I gave them."
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Seven-containerful rubbish from Act III of Pyongyang farce

Act III of the farce, produced by Kim Jong-Il and directed by Junichiro Koizumi, took place in Pyongyang from November 9 through November 14 with now-infamous Mitoji Yabunaka, head of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, starring it once again. But this time around the Japan's delegation headed by Yabunaka was joined by some law enforcement officers and forensic experts to appear on the scenes of the hospital where Megumi Yokota, one of the 10 abductees at issue, is said to have died, and of a hotel where Yabunaka interviewed a man named Kim Chol Jun who North Korea said was Megumi Yokota's husband.

When the delegation came home on Monday, by a government-chartered plane, after wrapping up the 50-hour-long 3rd round of bilateral working-level talks and some "field research", these gentlemen were not the only things that were unloaded from the plane. Also unloaded from the same jet were seven containers that were said to be full of medical records, meteorological records, photos, and other articles presented by North Korea to substantiate Pyongyang's 2-year-old assertion that 8 of the 10 abductees have long been dead.
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Missing outgoing adviser is not enough

If the September 27 Cabinet reshuffle carried out by Junichiro Koizumi had a certain significance at all, it is that the PM has now surrounded himself with "diehard" toadies who keep parroting all his blah-blah-blah about the postal reform plans. But the reshuffle involved some by-product which is perhaps much more important. · read more (749 words)
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Kim is buying time; who is selling it?

In the wake of yet another round of fruitless "working-level" talks in Beijing between Japan and North Korea (September 25-26), the Japanese media have further stepped up their rhetoric about Pyongyang's faithlessness and lack of sincerity. Today's Daily Yomiuri, as well as its parent Yomiuri Shimbun, runs an editorial captioned, "North Korea's attitude shows need for sanctions". · read more (352 words)
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Charles Robert Jenkins, a deserter or an abductee?

A reader's letter captioned "Jenkins being 'kidnapped' by Koizumi administration" appeared in the July 24, 2004 issue of the Daily Yomiuri. · read more (1,086 words)