Residents of a condominium in Kanagawa Prefecture on Saturday began a signature campaign demanding an investigation into a series of abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea.
The campaign was initiated by people living in the same condominium building as Shigeru and Sakie Yokota, whose daughter, Megumi, was abducted by North Korean agents in 1977 and later reported dead.
The residents, along with the Yokotas, are conducting the signature drive through Sunday near JR Kawasaki Station in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Kazuo Furuya, 70, said the campaign was launched in the hopes of assisting the abductees and their families. Furuya is head of the residents’ association, comprised of 408 households.
Organizers said the residents had conducted a fundraising drive among themselves but are engaging for the first time in a signature campaign
The organizers expect about 60 people to assist in the two-day campaign.
Megumi Yokota is among the Japanese abducted by North Korea in the late 1970s and early 1980s whom North Korea claims have since died. She was abducted from Niigata Prefecture in 1977 aged 13.
The Yokotas were told by North Korea that Megumi killed herself.
Pyongyang says she was married to a North Korean man and the couple had a daughter, 15-year-old Kim Hye Gyong.
The Yokotas have acknowledged the girl as their granddaughter after DNA tests showed that Megumi was her mother.
Earlier this week, Japan and North Korea failed to make progress on the resumption of normalization talks over the contentious issues of the abductions and North Korea’s clandestine nuclear-weapons development program.
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