(Nikkei: February 19, 2016 – p. 4)
The government will approve enhanced sanctions against North Korea to denounce its nuclear development program and missile launch at a special cabinet meeting on Feb. 19. Most of the sanctions will go into effect on the same day. In the U.S., President Obama is expected to sign a North Korea sanctions bill within the week. Japan and the U.S. will work together to urge the U.N. Security Council to adopt a sanctions resolution at the earliest possible date.
Japan’s new sanctions include a ban on the entry of third-country ships that have visited North Korea, and North Korean vessels, including those on humanitarian missions, into Japan. Up to ten locations visited by third-country vessels before coming to Japan will be checked to ensure that they have not been to North Korea.
The government will decide to ban in principle all remittances to North Korea and increase the number of individuals and organizations that are covered by its freeze on assets. A ban on the re-entry of senior officials of the Chongryon, or the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, into Japan is already in place. The government is working on the details of a ban on the re-entry of foreign nuclear and missile engineers who live in Japan. It is expected to invoke these sanctions starting on Feb. 19.