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The May 25 article by Ralph Cossa, “Fears of new Nixon shock,” seems to take seriously the claims by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ideological brethren that North Koreans must do more to assuage the Japanese belief that they have not yet “come clean” on the abduction issue if there is to be progress in Japanese/North Korean relations.

In fact, it has become quite clear that there is nothing the North Koreans can do to make this issue go away because Abe will never allow that to happen. Abe clings to the idea that North Korea is Japan’s mortal enemy as if it were a life preserver thrown to a drowning man. To the prime minister, North Korea is the bogeyman though which he believes he can frighten the Japanese public into backing his attempt to do away with Article 9 and revise the Japanese Constitution.

There is no way that Abe will ever be satisfied with any action that North Korea may take, because fundamentally he wishes to maintain a high level of tension between the two countries to further his own political goals.

joseph turner

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