Chinese authorities have not provided any information on a missing Japanese working to help North Korean refugees in northern China and his interpreter, Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi said Tuesday.
“We have been trying to get information from the Chinese government, but so far there has been no response,” Kawaguchi said. “There is also no information that the two were (being) held by (Chinese authorities).”
Activist Hiroshi Kato, 57, and his interpreter, Masahiro Mizuta, 30, have been missing since Oct. 30, when they checked out of a hotel in Dalian, Liaoning Province.
Kato arrived in Dalian in October and was slated to return to Tokyo on Thursday. He is a member of Life Funds For North Korean Refugees, a Tokyo-based nongovernmental organization helping North Korean refugees fleeing their homeland to China and Russia.
Mizuta, a graduate student at a Chinese university, began working for Kato on Oct. 29, according to the NGO.
The organization has said the two were probably unjustly taken into custody by Chinese authorities because Beijing is increasingly sensitive about North Korean refugees.
Liaoning Province borders North Korea.
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