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Was Prime Minister Koizumi’s trip to North Korea an opportunistic move?

by Melanie Burton

Michio Tajima
Accountant, 32
I’m not totally satisfied with what he’s done. The pension scandal could be one of the reasons he decided to go, but even so, it’s a good thing that he went.

Peter Oxley
Photographer, 50
I think Mr. Koizumi is doing his best and we shouldn’t be cynical about it. I think he went there in good faith and advanced the process.

Yasuharu Fujiwara
Music distributor, 36
The abductees’ families have been pushing the government for a long time. The pension scandal may be one reason he went. He needs an image boost right now.

Syra Mori
Translator, 33
I can see that there’s that aspect to it, but I hope that’s not the entire reason for his trip to North Korea. I think it’s just good timing for him.

Tae Shoji
English teacher, 25
The Korea issue has been really problematic for the last 5 years. He should have gone much earlier, but he’s desperate to look good right now.

Koichi Terashima
Accountant, 45
He was trying to bring back abductees and help solve diplomatic trouble between Japan and North Korea. I think the timing is coincidence.