Kishida seeks to solve the North Korea abduction issue
Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan seeks to solve the abduction issue with North Korea. This concerns the 1970s and 1980s when Japanese nationals – and others – were abducted to North Korea.
Kishida knows that the abduction issue rankles and disturbs people in Japan who know about the details of this serious matter. Indeed, the longevity of the crisis entails that nobody knows for certain who is alive and who has died in a land far from their ancestors.
Kishida said, “We will do our utmost to tackle the issue without ruling out any options.”
Accordingly, Kishida is open to direct talks with Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea.
If talks materialize between Kishida and Kim, the leader of Japan stipulates “without conditions.”
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno implied that “humanitarian assistance” to North Korea would be forthcoming if North Korea sincerely sought to end this torrid affair.
Kyodo News reports, “The iconic abductee Megumi Yokota is among 17 Japanese nationals the government has officially recognized as having been abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.”
Reuters reports, “North Korea admitted in 2002 it had kidnapped 13 Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s to train as spies, and five of them returned to Japan. Tokyo suspects that hundreds more may have been taken.”
In 2007, ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (who was brutally assassinated by a Japanese national) said, “… for Japan, the abduction issue is also one that absolutely cannot be abandoned… To solve this, to solve the issues between Japan and North Korea, unless they change their stance we can’t fundamentally change ours.”
It is also conceivable that not all the abductees would seek to return. This concerns marriage with North Koreans, cultural alienation, the usual political indoctrination of North Korea, and other factors.
Irrespective of this, all individuals should have the right to return and freely travel to their homeland.
Lee Jay Walker says, “Sadly, many loved ones in Japan have died before this torrid affair is finally resolved. Therefore, it is hoped that the leaders of Japan and North Korea can reach an agreement and that all evidence of the surviving nationals is forthcoming.”
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