北朝鮮制裁 実質的な効果を上げるには

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Apr. 11, 2009)
Japan must push for intl consensus on N. Korea
北朝鮮制裁 実質的な効果を上げるには(4月11日付・読売社説)

There is a limit to the effect sanctions imposed on North Korea by Japan alone can have. It is important, therefore, to bring about an international consensus that sees every nation, including China, take concerted action to put pressure on Pyongyang.

The Japanese government officially decided Friday to impose additional unilateral sanctions on North Korea in response to Pyongyang's recent missile launch.

This means existing sanctions, including a total ban on imports from the country, will be extended for one year. In the past, the sanctions have been extended every six months. The government also has introduced new measures that tighten the rules on cash transfers made from Japan to North Korea, and on the sums that can be taken to the country.

The Japanese government held off imposing a blanket ban on exports to North Korea, likely to leave it with a trump card that could be used if North Korea threatens to withdraw from the six-party talks on denuclearization or goes ahead with another nuclear test.

Under the current Japan-North Korea relationship, the government's decision to unilaterally strengthen sanctions on North Korea will have limited effect. Japan's trade volume with North Korea has fallen to less than one-hundredth of its peak. The volume of cash taken from Japan to North Korea has fallen to about one-sixteenth of the level it was four years ago, and not one cash transfer was reported in fiscal 2008.


Statement of protest

It cannot be denied that Japan's unilateral implementation of sanctions serves only to make a political statement of protest over North Korea's missile launch.

Among the sanctions regimes that could be imposed on North Korea, the most practical and effective approach would be to convince every nation to steadily implement U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718, which was adopted in response to a nuclear test carried out by Pyongyang in 2006.

Resolution 1718 includes a ban on the export on luxury goods to North Korea and a freeze on the overseas assets held by all of North Korea's nuclear- and missile-related companies.

If China, North Korea's largest trading partner, strictly implemented the resolution, the effectiveness of the sanctions would surely be improved dramatically.

At the U.N. Security Council, there is a move to work out a possible compromise among the permanent council members and Japan that would specify in a nonbinding presidential statement a call for strict compliance with Resolution 1718.


Path to new resolution

Japan has called for a new, tighter resolution to be adopted following North Korea's missile launch. But China and Russia, which have veto power on the Security Council, have shown little willingness to go down this path.

In persuading China and Russia to back a new resolution, Japan would be forced to make large concessions in the expression of the draft for a new resolution.

In principle, any presidential statement requires the unanimous backing of the Security Council members. If China and Russia were to approve a new presidential statement saying that North Korea's recent missile launch violated Resolution 1718 and calling on every nation to strictly implement sanctions imposed by the resolution, it would make it easier for Japan to urge each country to join it in implementing sanctions. What really matters is not the form the new resolution takes, but its contents.

Prime Minister Taro Aso is scheduled to attend the so-called ASEAN-plus-Three summit Saturday and the 16-nation East Asia Summit on Sunday, where he also will hold talks on the sidelines with leaders including Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Aso should use this as an opportunity to further highlight the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, so that Japan's position can be better reflected in negotiations at the Security Council.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 11, 2009)
(2009年4月11日01時41分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2009-04-11 09:37 | 英字新聞

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