Some 93 percent of candidates in Sunday’s House of Representatives election believe that the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea constitutes terrorism, according to the results of a survey released Monday.
Only 55 percent, however, advocate slapping sanctions on North Korea, such as restrictions on remittances, the results show.
The poll was conducted jointly by a group of families of individuals kidnapped by North Korean agents and by the National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped to North Korea (NARKN).
A questionnaire was sent to 1,159 candidates, of whom 975 had responded by Monday.
Some 92.8 percent of respondents said they believe that the abductions were acts of terrorism. Just 0.3 percent of respondents said they were not, while others said they felt that the definition of terrorism was unclear.
The latter instead described the kidnappings as “wartime acts without any declaration of war,” or as “state-sponsored crime.”
Regarding support for economic sanctions against Pyongyang, 55 percent said they support revising the foreign exchange law to limit money remittances and trade. Meanwhile, 51.7 percent voiced support for new legislation that would allow Japan to restrict the entry of North Korean vessels.
By party, 90 percent of those running on the Liberal Democratic Party ticket said they support remittance restrictions.
For the Democratic Party of Japan, which added the item to its party manifesto on Friday, 80.7 percent of its candidates stated clearly that action of this kind was in order.
For New Komeito candidates, the figure stood at 84.8 percent.
But many Japanese Communist Party candidates were reluctant to express clear support for the use of sanctions, with 99 percent of JCP respondents saying they oppose restrictions or hold other views.
For the Social Democratic Party, 92.3 percent said they do not agree with limiting remittances, citing such reasons as the need to have consideration for Korean residents in Japan.
Regarding a crackdown on North Korean vessels, 88.9 percent of LDP candidates voiced support for such a maneuver, while the figure stood at 74.9 percent among their DPJ counterparts.
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