Shinzo Abe urges diplomatic tack on North Korea

Tuesday, 18 April, 2017 - 10:21

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emphasized that diplomatic efforts to defuse rising tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs are necessary, despite the latest military muscle-flexing by Pyongyang.

“Needless to say, it’s important to maintain peace through diplomatic efforts,” Abe told a Lower House session of the Diet.

“At the same time, dialogue for the sake of dialogue would be meaningless. We need to put pressure on North Korea so that it will seriously respond to calls for dialogue,” Abe said.

At the Diet session yesterday, Abe also said Tokyo has already conducted studies on how to deal with possible refugees in the event of a major armed conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

“We assume we would take a series of actions, including processes to admit landing, set up and manage accommodations, and screen (refugees) to decide whether we should protect them or not,” Abe said.

Japanese officials have long feared a massive influx of refugees to Japan should ever a second Korean war break out on the peninsula. Since the 1990s, Tokyo has conducted studies and simulations on how to deal with refugees while also evacuating numerous Japanese nationals from South Korea.