Koizumi criticised as hostages' children return
Monday 24 May 2004
Five children of Japanese kidnapped by North Korea began a new life in their parents' homeland yesterday after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi won their release during a summit with the North's leader, Kim Jong Il .
But Mr Koizumi faced a torrent of criticism that he had rewarded North Korea with more than $10m (£6m) in food and humanitarian aid without making concrete headway on disputes over the reclusive regime's nuclear weapons programme, or suspected abductions of dozens of other Japanese.
Two Japanese couples, who returned to Japan in October 2002 after being abducted decades earlier by North Korean agents, spent a quiet night in a Tokyo hotel with their children. They avoided the media spotlight and made preparations to return to their homes in central and north-western Japan. But the emotional reunions brought little applause for Mr Koizumi.
"It is extremely questionable whether Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's latest visit to North Korea made any progress," the Yomiuri Shimbun, a daily newspaper, said in an editorial. "The latest meeting made no headway in resolving the abduction, nuclear, missile or any other issues related to north-east Asia's peace and security." Mr Koizumi said he had gone to Pyongyang because both countries would benefit from a change from "hostile relations to friendly relations". He said his pledge of 250,000 tons of food aid and $10m worth of medical supplies was made at the request of international organisations, and not in exchange for the family members' release. Many Japanese believe that he was too generous.
Mr Koizumi met a former abductee Hitomi Soga on Saturday to tell her that her husband, Charles Jenkins, a former US soldier accused of desertion in 1965, had refused to return to Japan, fearing he would be extradited to the US. Their two daughters had also stayed behind. The family accepted Mr Koizumi's plan that they try to meet in a third country, such as China.(AP)
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
UK weather: Travel chaos continues as King's Cross train delays add to snow on roads
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...