• Kyodo

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Two Japanese nationals who were abducted to North Korea in 1978 and are now back in Japan received donations Saturday from a support group.

Kaoru Hasuike and his wife Yukiko met with Shigeru Yokota and his wife, Sakie, at the Hasuike’s family home. Yokota heads a group of the families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.

“This is only part of the proceeds we received from people nationwide during the fundraising drive. Please use it,” Yokota, 70, told the couple.

Hasuike thanked them for the financial help and apologized for causing so much trouble.

Yokota also brought about 30 photographs taken at Tokyo’s Haneda airport Oct. 15 when Hasuike, 45, his wife, 46, and three other abductees arrived in Japan for the first time in 24 years.

The three others are the married couple Yasushi and Fukie Chimura, both 47, and Hitomi Soga, 43. All were abducted in 1978.

The Hasuikes have two children in North Korea and the Chimuras have three. Soga’s American husband, listed as a U.S. Army deserter, and their two daughters also remain in North Korea.

The group plans to provide financial support for the returnees until a bill to support Japanese abductees is passed.

The legislation for providing support is expected to be enacted in the current Diet session and take effect in January. It would allow the government to provide monthly allowances for up to five years after permanent resettlement in Japan.

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