Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he intends to explain in the Diet the deportation of a man believed to be the elder son of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and his family from Japan.
“It will become an issue in the Diet, and I want to explain and respond,” Koizumi told reporters at his official residence. “I believe I will help them understand.”
The new prime minister said the two coalition partners of his Liberal Democratic Party — the New Komeito party and the New Conservative Party — understood and supported his government’s policy on the matter.
“It was an appropriate measure,” Koizumi said of the Japanese action to expel the man believed to be Kim Jong Nam, 29, and his three companions — two women and a young boy. They were deported to China on Friday, after being apprehended Tuesday at Narita airport in Chiba Prefecture, for traveling on forged passports.
Earlier in the day, Koizumi ordered Japan’s immigration controls to be beefed up in the wake of the deportation case. “Immigration controls should be strengthened in terms of personnel and equipment based on this case,” government officials quoted Koizumi as telling a Cabinet meeting at his official residence.
The case sparked criticism of Japan’s immigration authorities because there were signs the man had entered the country twice in the past using the same forged passport from the Dominican Republic.
The Justice Ministry is in favor of increasing the number of immigration personnel, but the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications is against the idea because it is in charge of a project to reduce the number of public servants.
Other Cabinet ministers defended the government’s decision to swiftly deport the man. “Speaking from the standpoint of security, there could have been unexpected situations since the party concerned is the party concerned,” Defense Agency Chief Gen Nakatani told a television program.
“There were delicate problems not only in terms of public security but also from a diplomatic point of view, and I believe it was prudent to pursue a swift solution,” he added.
National Public Safety Commission Chairman Jin Murai told reporters the deportation “served as a message” to North Korea. “The rest is up to how they interpret that.”
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