On Feb. 18, a total of 54 international and domestic groups, organizations, and individuals made public a letter they had sent to the Japanese government requesting it submit a resolution to the United Nations Human Rights Council denouncing North Korea’s abuse of human rights. International human rights groups and the families of North Korean abduction victims were among those who sent the letter. The Japanese government has submitted such a resolution jointly with the EU every year for 11 straight years since 2008. Last year, however, Japan did not submit one.
The letter was addressed to Prime Minster Shinzo Abe, Chief Cabinet Secretary and Minister in Charge of the Abductions Issue Yoshihide Suga, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi. The letter argues: “To make progress in the resolution of the abductions issue, it is in fact indispensable to keep the issue of North Korea’s human rights abuses front and center.” The Human Rights Council is scheduled to meet later this month.