TOKYO, April 3 Japan extended sanctions against
North Korea by a year on Tuesday after the reclusive state said
it would press ahead with a rocket launch in the face of
Japan first imposed sanctions after North Korea tested a
nuclear device and ballistic missiles in 2006 and have extended
them each year since then.
"We decided to extend by one year a measure that prohibits
North Korean ships from calling at Japanese ports and another
measure that bans imports and exports with the North," Chief
Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters.
Japan's ties with North Korea have long been fraught due to
bitterness over Japan's 1910-1945 occupation of the Korean
peninsula, Japanese fears about North Korea's rocket and nuclear
programmes and anger over the abduction of Japanese citizens by
North Korean agents decades ago.
North Korea, already subject to international sanctions, has
said it is merely sending a weather satellite into space, but
South Korea and the United States say it is a disguised
ballistic missile test.
The launch would only lead to further isolation of the
impoverished North, which much show its sincerity if
on-again-off-again six-party aid-for-disarmament talks are to
restart, U.S. President Barack Obama said last month.
(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Nick Macfie)