The following is a list of seven Japanese nationals North Korea said Tuesday have already died or are still missing following their abductions, with four others, by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s. Of the seven, only Yutaka Kume is missing, according to Pyongyang. Ages given are those at the time of disappearance.
Yutaka Kume, 52, a Tokyo security guard. Kume disappeared in Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture, in September 1977. A North Korean living in Japan reportedly confessed to helping a North Korean agent abduct Kume from a seashore in the town. The resident was not indicted due to insufficient evidence.
Megumi Yokota, 13, a junior high school student in Niigata Prefecture. Yokota disappeared along Niigata’s coast on Nov. 15, 1977, as she made her way home from school. She was last seen by a friend when they parted near a seashore 250 meters from her home.
Yaeko Taguchi, 22, a Tokyo bar hostess. The Saitama Prefecture native vanished in June 1978 in Tokyo, after she placed her two children in a day-care center. The NPA and Saitama Prefectural Police said in May 1991 they are almost certain she is the Japanese-language instructor of former North Korean agent Kim Hyon Hui. Kim, convicted in the terrorist bombing of a Korean Air jet in 1987, identified the missing woman from pictures the NPA showed her and told them the woman was living in North Korea under the name Ri Un Hye.
Shuichi Ichikawa, 23, a public corporation employee, and Rumiko Masumoto, 24, an office clerk. The couple vanished from the town of Fukiage, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Aug. 12, 1978, after telling relatives they were going to the seaside in the town to watch the sunset.
Tadaaki Hara, 43, a cook in Osaka. Hara vanished in June 1980 in the city of Miyazaki. A South Korean court ruled in 1985 that North Korean agent Sin Guang Su had abducted Hara and shipped him to North Korea from Miyazaki. In August, the NPA put Sin on an international wanted list on suspicion of acquiring a Japanese passport by impersonating Hara.
Keiko Arimoto, 23, a college graduate from Kobe. Arimoto disappeared in 1983 while studying in London. The last contact her parents had with her was a letter she sent from Copenhagen. Her case came to light on March 16, when 46-year-old Megumi Yao, the former wife of one of nine Red Army Faction fugitives in the hijacking of a Japan Airlines jetliner to Pyongyang in 1970, told a court she had helped abduct Arimoto.
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