일본은 오래 전 북한에 의해 납치된 일본인 문제를 포함해 북한과 관련된 인권 문제들을 담당할 특별 외교 특사를 임명했습니다.

현재 노르웨이 및 아이슬란드 주재 대사로 있는 사이가 후미코 대사가 새 인권담당 특사직을 맡게 될 것입니다. 일본 외무부 대변인은 사이가 특사 임명은 인권 문제에 관한 일본의 입장을 전 세계에 더욱 알리기 위한 조치의 일환이라고 말했습니다.

일본 관리들 역시 과거 북한에 의해 납치된 모든 일본인들의 생사 여부를 완전히 알기 위한 노력을 강화할 것이라고 말하고 있습니다.

(영문)

Japan has appointed a special diplomatic envoy to work on human-rights issues involving North Korea, including efforts to trace Japanese citizens who were kidnapped by the communist North years ago.

Ambassador Fumiko Saiga, currently Japan's chief representative to Norway and Iceland, will take up the new post. A Foreign Ministry spokesman says Ms. Saiga's appointment is part of a move to increase Japan's profile on human-rights issues worldwide. Japanese officials also say they are stepping up efforts to fully account for all Japanese who were abducted by North Korea in the past. Pyongyang admits that it staged 13 kidnappings.

Five of the kidnapped Japanese returned to their homeland three years ago. North Korea says everyone else who was abducted died years ago, but Japan remains unconvinced. Authorities in Tokyo have demanded further information and proof of the deaths, as well as an investigation of the cases of other Japanese citizens who disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Japan has said it will not normalize ties with North Korea until the kidnapping issue is resolved.