Both houses of the Diet unanimously adopted resolutions Thursday condemning North Korea’s missile launch earlier in the week and urging the government to take a stern stance against Pyongyang.

As Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi criticized a statement by North Korea that the missile test Monday was a “matter of our national sovereignty,” the Upper and Lower houses denounced Pyongyang’s action as an “unforgivable act.”

The separate resolutions each say the missile launch poses a serious threat to Japan’s security and sovereignty, as well as to the peace and stability of North Asia. Saying the launch was held without any consideration that the missile might land on Japanese territory, the resolutions condemned the act as both reckless and extremely dangerous.

The act has heightened tensions in the international community and goes against ongoing efforts toward the nonproliferation of missiles and other weapons of mass destruction, they say. Respectively presented to the plenary sessions of the two chambers, the resolutions also urge the government to enact a strict policy against North Korea.

At the outset of the sessions, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura explained the government’s determination to take a firmer stance against North Korea in line with a new policy announced Tuesday calling for suspending food aid and assistance for light-water nuclear reactor projects, as well as its offer to resume normalization talks with famine-hit country. Japan has already withdrawn authorization for cargo flights between the two sides.

Obuchi told lawmakers he has no intention of stepping back from the new policy until North Korea provides a full and convincing explanation of its act. Given the latest development, Obuchi said it would be “extremely difficult” for the government to permit the third round of homecoming visits by Japanese women living in North Korea.

From a military standpoint, the prime minister said the current situation, based on information available so far, did not immediately constitute a “military crisis” as described in the Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation Guideline. Meanwhile, Obuchi said the government will take “appropriate steps” toward the development of a ballistic missile defense system with the United States.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.