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We hope Japanese Government to officially invite North Korea to Asian Regional Conference for WSIS

We have very serious concerns that the Japanese government decided not to invite North Korea to the Asian Regional Conference for World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and we hope Japanese Government as a host of this regional meeting should make a sincere effort to invite all Asian countries including North Korea to this meeting.

Source  :  Jinbonet

We have very serious concerns that the Japanese government decided not to invite North Korea to the Asian Regional Conference for World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and we hope Japanese Government as a host of this regional meeting should make a sincere effort to invite all Asian countries including North Korea to this meeting.

World Summit on the Information Society is very important opportunity to discuss on many issues concerned with Information Society particularly prompted by the rapid development of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Especially, forthcoming information and communication societies promise fundamental changes in all aspects of our lives all over the world such as economic, political and social affairs, education, media, knowledge dissemination and human rights & development in the future.

WSIS should be a place where all the stakeholders related to information and communication societies including governments, private sectors and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) can participate in without any conditions. The United Nations (UN) already expressed, "The World Summit on the Information Society will provide a unique opportunity for all key stakeholders to assemble at a high-level gathering and to develop a better understanding of this revolution and its impact on the international community. It aims to bring together Heads of State, Executive Heads of United Nations agencies, industry leaders, non-governmental organizations, media representatives and civil society in a single high-level event."

Asian Regional conference for WSIS is important place to discuss the Asian Response for WSIS with all the stakeholders in Asian region. There is no reason that Japanese government decided not to invite North Korea.

Therefore, we expect that Japanese Government may play a coordinating role hearing and collecting all Asian voices on this unique topic by inviting all Asian country people to this Asian regional forum without any discrimination and without excluding any one country.

We feel deep regret for the response from Japanese government (Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications), "There was no diplomatic relation between two countries (North Korea and Japan). That is why we (Japanese government) had to give up inviting North Korea." This account simply seems to be an administrative expediency rather than a serious efforts' result. And given the unique character of the WSIS as a global meeting at the level of the United Nations, we believe that one specific country's diplomatic relation could not be a barrier for some countries to join in regional forum. We believe that North Korea, as one member of the UN, deserves to be invited for this UN related event, and Japanese Government as a host country of this regional forum, should try to make all Asian countries gathered for making Asian voice by overcoming the present diplomatic relations if necessary.

We heard very bad news from our NGO colleague in Japan. He sent us the information related to North Korea issue from the meeting on December 16 about response of Japanese government regarding the reason why they refuse to invite North Korea; "We do not invite North Korea by requirement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). MFA said that to invite North Korea is very difficult under present political circumstances."

We want to confirm again if this is really truth and ask Japanese Government that this account could be officially used as the real reason of excluding North Korea for this regional meeting. We believe that your consideration of domestic political circumstances could not be an appropriate excuse for excluding North Korea from this regional meeting because WSIS issues have to do with information and communication society and the goal of Asian regional meeting is simply to gather Asian countries' view on this. Moreover, this type of UN related fora is seeking regional and global cooperation overcoming the present political, economic and social differences.

Therefore, we think that Japan Government's exclusion of North Korea is very unfair and their attitude to this specific problem is not desirable and irrelevant as a regional coordinator and host country of this regional event. We truly hope and urge Japan Government to make a serious effort to invite north Korea to this meeting even to the last minute.

January 3, 2003

Signature:
- Korean Progressive Network, Jinbonet (South Korea)
- People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (South Korea)
- Korean LaborNet, NodongNet (South Korea)
- Civil Coalition for the Culture Reformation (South Korea)
- PeaceNet (South Korea)
- JCANET (Japan)
- Networkers against Surveillance Taskforce (NaST, Japan: member of Global
Internet Liberty Campaign)
- Foundation for Media Alternatives (Philippines)
- Roberto Verzola, Secretary-general, Philippine Greens (Philippines)
- Casa dei Diritti Sociali / House of Social Rights (Italy)
- Chris Bailey, Policy Coordinator, Internet Rights (Bulgaria)
- Two Horses (Taiwan)


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