Noel Paul Stookey, a member of U.S. folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, on Tuesday sang for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe his song about abductee Megumi Yokota.
The 69-year-old Stookey, who wrote “Song for Megumi” after hearing the story of how the 13-year-old was abducted by North Korean agents in 1977, played guitar and sang for Abe and Yokota’s parents at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence.
Before singing the song, Stookey gave Abe a CD of the song as well as candles, symbolic of the wish that the flame of hope will never disappear from the hearts of the abductees’ families.
Abe told Stookey that he learned one of Peter, Paul and Mary’s hits, “Blowin’ in the Wind,” in English class at school.
“I am very honored, and I am surprised at how open and friendly and supportive Prime Minister Abe is on the abduction question,” Stookey told reporters after the meeting. “It is a complicated issue, but I think he has the heart for resolving the issue.”
Solving the abduction issue is one of Abe’s top priorities. His hardline stance on the communist state helped him build a high support rating when he took office in September.
Stookey said he would be back in Tokyo in May to sing the song again for Shigeru and Sakie Yokota and that he would invite Abe as well.