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Japan needs a sound strategy for dealing with North Korea

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Japan’s relationship with North Korea is fraught with knotty history-related issues and tensions stemming from the security threats posed by the reclusive country’s arms programs.

That makes it all the more important for Japan to deal with North Korea under a consistent and coherent diplomatic strategy.

The government has decided not to sponsor a U.N. resolution criticizing Pyongyang’s human rights record this year in a break from 11 consecutive years of taking the action.

Japan has been consistently demanding that North Korea take steps to resolve the issue of its past abductions of Japanese citizens through these resolutions. Tokyo has decided to change tack to extract a positive stance toward this issue from Pyongyang, according to the government.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to be betting that North Korea will seek to mend its ties with Japan after the breakdown of the recent summit meeting between its leader, Kim Jong Un, and U.S. President Donald Trump.

But signs coming from Pyongyang show the opposite. North Korean media have vehemently criticized Abe for having........

© The Asahi Shimbun