Attendance at the Yomiuri International Forum

743

October 18, 2017: Mr. Basir Ahmad Hamdard, First Secretary and Political Affairs, attended the Yomiuri International Forum 2017 hosted by The Yomiuri Shimbun International Economic Society(YIES) and The Yomiuri Shinbun.

The key speakers at the event were H.E. Mrs. Wendy Sherman, former U.S. Undersecretary of State, H.E. Mr. Fujisaki Ichiro, former Japanese Honorable Ambassador to the United States, and H.E. Mr. Yoji Koda, former Commander in Chief of the Self-Defence Fleet. They discussed recent North Korea issues and the Japan-United States alliance.

The forum was conducted through a series of questions and answers. One of the questions asked was an inquiry into how dangerous the North Korean situation actually is. Mrs. Sherman responded by pointing out that while North Korea is one of the main concerns of the United States, it is not the top priority when it comes to threats to national security; ISIS is. Mrs. Sherman then talked about a survey conducted in the US. This survey revealed that 64% of Americans believe that in the event of a North Korean attack on Japan, the US would aid Japan militarily.

In addition, She talked about a survey conducted in Japan that found 63% of Japanese people want further economic sanctions placed against North Korea. Also, according to this survey, 82% of Japanese people believe that Japan will support its American ally if a war were to break out between the United States and North Korea. Ms. Wendy Sherman also added that the US will never recognize North Korea as a nuclear country.

Mr. Yoji Koda answered this question as well. As a military specialist, he pointed out that North Korea’s lack of technological innovation and development greatly impedes the country’s ability to further its missile capabilities. He also stated the North Korean claim of the ownership of missiles that can reach the United States is just media propaganda. In addition, Mr. Koda believes that the United States does not want to start a war on the Korean Peninsula, a point that was also made by Mrs. Sherman. He then pointed out that Japanese people also do not want war with North Korea. Finally, Mr. Koda made it clear that the Japanese government feels very strongly about the US never accepting North Korea as a nuclear power.

Finally, Mr. Fujisaki Ichiro, former Japanese Ambassador to the United States gave his opinion on the matter. He stated that Japan as a nation is completely against war on the Korean peninsula and he emphasized and called for the use of more economic sanctions against North Korea.