Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara on Wednesday strongly criticized North Korea over its response to the abductions of Japanese nationals and other issues.

“I will strongly protest as the representative of Tokyo citizens against North Korea for having continued to give responses filled with deceptions,” Ishihara said in an address to the metropolitan assembly.

“North Korea has admitted it has repeated very mean and barbarous acts and caused immeasurable damage to our country.”

The governor also asked the Japanese government to repent for taking “no action and standing by and watching” its nationals die.

Ishihara, a former Diet member, called on Japan to obtain “an acceptable resolution” to the abduction cases before resuming normalization talks with North Korea.

He also expressed hope that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will deal with North Korea head-on and give top priority to protecting the lives and assets of the Japanese people.

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