Japan orders North Korea to repatriate man

Japan has demanded that North Korea authorize repatriation of a 47-year-old Japanese man who disappeared in 1963 and was later confirmed to be alive in North Korea, it was learned May 27.

According to Foreign Ministry sources, mid-level ministry officials held an unofficial meeting in Beijing with North Korean officials on April 21, discussing issues including the repatriation of this Japanese native and others believed to have been abducted by North Korean agents. North Korea refused to give a clear answer to the demand, sources said.

Takeshi Terakoshi of Shiga, Ishikawa Prefecture, went missing in May 1963 after going offshore on a fishing boat with two of his uncles. One of the uncles sent a letter to his family in January 1987, saying he and Terakoshi are still alive in North Korea.

Terakoshi was reunited with his mother Tomoe in Pyongyang in September 1987. He has a Korean name and has a family of his own.

The Japanese government has said it suspects a total of 10 Japanese were kidnapped by North Korean agents during the 1970s.