The government refrained from commenting on the actual substance of the agreement.
“We would prefer not to shed light on the actual contents of the agreement and therefore will withhold comment. Naturally, as before, we will continue to work as appropriate for the advancement of human rights,” government spokesman Osamu Fujimura said at a Dec. 8 press conference.
Chinese officials allegedly explained, “Once China allows refugees to leave China, the number of North Koreans will increase in Chinese society. Protection of North Koreans in diplomatic buildings as well as outside them is against Chinese law.”
Japan passed the North Korean Human Rights Law in 2006. According to the law, Japan has allowed some 100 North Koreans to enter Japan as of 2009.
However, the Chinese administration has not allowed any of the North Koreans who are already in foreign embassies to leave China since the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
The Chinese administration has reportedly requested a promise from Japan, saying, “We will not protect defectors.”