• Kyodo

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Takeshi Terakoshi, who has been living in North Korea since the early 1960s, when he disappeared while fishing in the Sea of Japan, will visit Japan on Oct. 3, according to his mother.

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori met with Terakoshi’s mother, Tomoe, in Kanazawa and notified her about the visit, which will be Terakoshi’s first since he disappeared while fishing with his uncle in May 1963, she said Saturday.

Terakoshi, 53, who said they were rescued by North Korean fishermen, now lives in Pyongyang and serves as a vice chairman of a labor union in the capital.

According to the mother and other sources, Terakoshi will arrive at Narita airport via Beijing as a member of a North Korean union delegation, marking his first homecoming in 39 years.

He is expected to travel to his hometown alone in Ishikawa Prefecture between Oct. 5 and 8 to visit his ancestral graves there, the sources said, adding he canceled planned visits to Okayama and Hiroshima prefectures.

“I also received a phone call from Takeshi in the morning. Today is his birthday and I’m glad to hear the good news,” said the 71-year-old mother, who has made repeated trips to the North to see her son.

Referring to the Japanese abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s, she said, “I’m sorry for the people who feel sorrow (due to the abductions and recent revelations that several of the victims have died), but I want them to forgive me because I also waited a long time.”

Terakoshi’s mother learned that her son was alive in 1987 from a letter she received from his now-deceased uncle in North Korea.

In 1997, Terakoshi said through North Korean media that the boat on which he and his uncle were fishing had been wrecked at sea and a North Korean fishing boat rescued them.

Terakoshi and his uncle later acquired North Korean citizenship. The uncle died in North Korea.

According to earlier reports, Terakoshi’s father later moved to be with his son and his son’s family.

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