Japan renews sanctions after rocket launch

From the National Comittee on North Korea:

On April 10, 2009 the Japanese government renewed sanctions on the DPRK that were set to expire on April 13. The sanctions, first implemented in 2006, ban entry into Japanese ports of all North Korean flagged vessels and charted flights between Japan and the DPRK, as well as ban, in principle, visits by Japanese government officials to the DPRK and visits by DPRK government officials to Japan. The sanctions also ban all DPRK imports and payments for imports from the DPRK. The 2006 sanctions, initially implemented for six months and renewed for six month periods thereafter, were renewed for a full year on April 10.

The Japanese government also instituted stricter reporting requirements on the amount of funds people in Japan can remit or transfer to the DPRK. The new regulations reduce the amount of funds that can be transferred undeclared to the DPRK from 30 million yen (US$298,000) to 10 million yen ($99,000). In addition, travelers can bring only 300,000 yen cash ($2,990) to the DPRK without reporting it; this is down from a previous limit of over a million yen.

Although the new reporting requirement has been called a “new sanction,” it does not seem to be a genuine sanction since it does not limit remittances to the DPRK. According to Xinhua, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura told reporters, “The measure is aimed at getting a clearer picture of fund flows to North Korea (DPRK).” He also said that the move is “appropriate giving consideration to the unsettled abduction issue.”

Japan considered but rejected a ban on all exports to the DPRK. Newspapers report that the Japanese government thought such a ban would have little impact.

And according to Bloomberg:

Trade between Japan and North Korea fell 97 percent to 793 million yen in 2008 — all in Japanese exports — from 21.4 billion yen in 2005, according to Japan’s Finance Ministry.

You can read the full Bloomberg story here:
Japan Imposes New North Korea Sanctions After Missile Launch
Takashi Hirokawa and Toko Sekiguchi


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