Tokyo, Sept. 2 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed his eagerness on Wednesday to hold talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un once he becomes prime minister to resolve abductions of Japanese nationals by Pyongyang.
“I want to make a breakthrough” in the abduction issue by meeting Kim Jong Un without preconditions, Suga told a news conference held to declare his bid for the Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s presidency.
The LDP is scheduled to hold a vote on Sept. 14 to choose a successor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who last week announced his resignation for health reasons.
Suga showed his intent to inherit Abe’s policy to resolve a territorial row between Tokyo and Moscow over Russian-controlled northwestern Pacific islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan.
Abe sought to resolve the dispute based on the 1956 Japan-Soviet joint declaration, which
calls for the handover of two of the four disputed islands–Shikotan and the Habomais–to Japan after the conclusion of a peace treaty to formally end World War II hostilities.
Suga defended the government’s plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma air station within the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa.
The government plans to relocate the Futenma base in a densely populated area in Ginowan to the Henoko coastal area in Nago, while the Okinawa prefectural government has been calling for the cancellation of the plan.
“We can realize the removal of danger by transferring it to Henoko,” Suga said.
Suga also said, “The next administration has to resolve” issues related to treated radioactive water from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> nuclear plant, which suffered a triple meltdown following the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and monster tsunami in March 2011.
Meanwhile, Suga expressed reluctance to reinvestigate favoritism scandals involving Abe over school operators Moritomo Gakuen and Kake Educational Institution, saying that these “have already come to a conclusion.”