• SHARE

Relatives of some of the 11 Japanese who were abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s voiced deep grief and indignation Tuesday after learning that only four of them are alive and one remains missing.

Shigeru Yokota, whose daughter Megumi was abducted in Niigata in 1977 at the age of 13, said, “I feel sad and can’t believe she’s dead.”

At a press conference at a Diet building, Yokota, who also learned that Megumi reportedly got married and had a daughter before she died, said amid tears, “I had hoped for a good outcome, but the result is a sad one because she’s dead.”

At the unprecedented summit Tuesday between Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, Japan was told that four of the 11 abductees are alive and that six died from illnesses or in natural disasters.

“I want (North Korea) to fully investigate how Megumi went to North Korea, how she got married and how she died,” Yokota said.

Meanwhile, a group of Diet members supporting the relatives released a statement condemning the abductions as “state terrorism” and demanded the Japanese government take severe punitive steps against North Korea, including suspension of food aid.

“Normalizing ties (with North Korea) is out of the question,” one lawmaker said.

Earlier in the day, at a separate conference, the relatives made it clear they would oppose any attempt to resume normalization talks unless more information on all 11 abductees is released.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW