• Kyodo


Hitomi Soga, one of five Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in 1978 and repatriated in October, visited a nursing home Tuesday to prepare for a job as a caregiver.

Soga, 43, was working as an assistant nurse at the time of her abduction at age 19. She was guided through the facility, in her hometown of Mano on Sado Island, by local officials.

She has said she wants to find a job in which she can help people.

Soga is scheduled to visit a child-care center Wednesday and take part in a training workshop for nurses’ aides at the town office beginning Saturday.

Yasushi Chimura, another of the five returnees, is to work in a department at the Obama municipal office in charge of commercial and international matters starting in April, Mayor Toshio Murakami said at a news conference.

“We discussed his appointment in line with his wish to learn about his home city,” said Takao Wada, the department head of the Fukui Prefecture city. “I will assign him a variety of jobs every month. I hope he gets used to the city and fills the 24-year void in his life.”

Chimura and his wife, Fukie, both 47, will take computer classes three times a week from Feb. 3 to March 20, the officials added.

Chimura formally conveyed his wish to find a city job during a meeting with the mayor earlier this month.

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