No matter how I look at it, her arrival seems like a performance to recover some of the DPJ-led Kan administration's former popularity; all of the cost associated with this visit should be borne by the party, not the country. The government should be engaging in diplomatic exchanges with North Korea; without diplomatic efforts, there will be no solution to the abduction issue.
To solve the abduction issue, the governments of Japan and North Korea need to engage in diplomatic negotiations. There is no possible solution to work toward when neither country is engaging the other diplomatically. Increasing the punishment without diplomacy will not bring about a solution.
Although it is self-evident that diplomacy is necessary, every administration since the Koizumi government has refused to make an effort. We've followed the suggestion of the family groups and increased the economic sanctions, but we haven't moved ahead one bit. The family groups have asked the US for help, but the Americans aren't going to engage the North Koreans in place of the Japanese government. Senior US officials are giving the family groups nothing but lip service.
Among the people involved in the abduction issue, not one has urged the Japanese government to engage in urgent talks with the North Koreans. Why? Do they think negotiations aren't necessary?
They all look at the family associations to figure out which opinion to take. The reason these groups have such unparalleled influence is the support they get from Japan's mass media. If this continues, diplomatic talks won't advance at all. This Japan visit by former agent provocateur Kim Hyon-hui is nothing more than a performance aimed at boosting the popularity of the DPJ-led Kan administration. The Democratic Party of Japan should be footing the bill.
The DPJ government should not be focused on performances aimed at the domestic mass media. The party's efforts should be put behind honest diplomatic negotiations.